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United Fruit Company

COMPANY

Founded 1875 by Minor Cooper Keith (1848-1929) as Tropical Trading and Transport Company. Merged with Boston Fruit Company in 1899, becoming United Fruit Company. Once the single largest owner of banana plantations in Central America (circa 1899), and widely known for supporting corrupt and brutal Central American governments, and backing assorted coups if a new regime was viewed as favorable to United Fruit's interests (from which we derive the term "banana republic"). After merging with AMK Corporation, changed its name to United Brands in 1970, and to Chiquita Brands in 1989.

Industry:
Agriculture

EXECUTIVES

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Thomas Dudley Cabot
Business
1-May-1897 8-Jun-1995 CEO of Cabot, 1922-60
Walter Bedell Smith
Government
5-Oct-1895 9-Aug-1961 CIA Director, 1950-53

PAST BOARD MEMBERS OR DIRECTORS

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Allen W. Dulles
Spy
7-Apr-1893 29-Jan-1969 CIA Director, 1953-61
Walter Bedell Smith
Government
5-Oct-1895 9-Aug-1961 CIA Director, 1950-53
Robert E. Wood
Business
13-Jun-1879 6-Nov-1969 Chairman of Sears, 1939-54


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