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Richard Joshua Reynolds

Born: 20-Jul-1850
Birthplace: Rock Springs Plantation, VA
Died: 29-Jul-1918
Location of death: Winston-Salem, NC
Cause of death: Cancer - Pancreatic
Remains: Buried, Salem Cemetery, Winston-Salem, NC

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Richard Joshua Reynolds worked in his father's tobacco business in Virginia's Patrick County until his mid-20s, when he relocated to Winston, North Carolina. There he established his own tobacco firm, the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. In its first years the company mostly sold chewing tobacco to re-sellers, who marketed it under other companies' labels. In 1885 Reynolds introduced its own brand, called Schnapps, and in 1907 the Price Albert brand was added. The company went public in 1890, with Reynolds as its first President, and saccharin was first added to the tobacco as a sweetening agent in 1894. Reynolds entered into a trust arrangement with James Buchanan Duke of American Tobacco Company in the mid 1890s, leading to very profitable years for both companies, until a court-ordered anti-trust dissolution of the two firms in 1916. In 1913 the Reynolds Company introduced Camel brand, the first successful pre-packaged cigarettes, but Reynolds himself preferred chewing tobacco over cigars and cigarettes, and told friends that he feared smoking might be unhealthy.

Reynolds proposed to Katherine Smith, his second cousin, when she was 10 and he was 40, and they were married 15 years later and had four children. He remained president of the company he founded until his death from cancer in 1918. His nephew, Richard Samuel Reynolds, was the founder of Reynolds Metals.

Father: Hardin William Reynolds (tobacco merchant, b. 20-Apr-1810, d. 30-May-1882)
Mother: Nancy Jane Cox Reynolds (b. 31-Mar-1825, m. 1844, d. 7-Mar-1903)
Sister: Katherine Reynolds (d. childhood)
Sister: Lucy Reynolds
Sister: Mary Jane Reynolds (b. 1844)
Sister: Agnes Cox Reynolds (b. 1845)
Brother: Abraham David Reynolds ("Abram", tobacco merchant, b. 13-Aug-1847, d. Sep-1925)
Brother: Hardin Harbour Reynolds (b. 8-Jun-1854)
Brother: Walter Reynolds (d. 1921)
Brother: William Neal Reynolds (R. J. Reynolds executive, b. 22-Mar-1863, d. 10-Sep-1951)
Wife: Mary Katharine Smith Reynolds Johnston (b. 17-Nov-1880, m. 27-Feb-1905, d. 23-May-1924)
Son: Richard Joshua Reynolds, Jr. (Mayor of Winston-Salem, b. 4-Apr-1906, d. 16-Dec-1964)
Daughter: Mary Katherine Reynolds Babcock (b. 8-Aug-1908, d. 17-Jul-1953)
Daughter: Nancy Susan Reynolds Bagley Verney (b. 5-Feb-1910, d. Jan-1985)
Son: Zachary Smith Reynolds (pilot, b. 5-Nov-1911, d. 6-Jul-1932 murder)

    University: Emory and Henry College (attended 1868-70)
    University: Bryant & Stratton College (attended 1873)

    R. J. Reynolds Founder (1875, President 1890-1918)


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