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Charles Pfizer

AKA Karl Pfizer

Born: 1824
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Died: 19-Oct-1906
Location of death: Newport, RI
Cause of death: Accident - Fall
Remains: Buried, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist, Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

Charles Pfizer was raised in Germany, and came to America in 1848, when he was 23 years of age. A year later, with a $2,500 loan from his father and in partnership with his cousin, he founded Charles Pfizer & Company in the borough of Brooklyn. The company's first product was a candied form of santonin, a drug that repels intestinal worms from the body. Pfizer, a chemist, mixed the drug, and his business partner, Charles Erhart, a confectioner, applied the almond-toffee flavoring in a sweet cone.

Pfizer's business boomed during the Civil War, as the company began marketing iodine salts, mercurials, and bismuth salts for pharmaceuticals use, and chemicals needed for the new industry of photography. In the 1880s Pfizer's leading product was citric acid, used in the preparation of recently invented sodas like Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper. With Erhart's death in 1891, Pfizer became the sole owner of the company that bore his name. He retired in 1900, as the company was reincorporated in New Jersey, and died in 1906 as a result of injuries sustained in falling down a flight of stairs in his home.

His son Charles Pfizer Jr succeeded him as President of Pfizer, but was forced out in 1905 and later gambled away his entire inheritance, some $1.5-million, in horse racing. Another son of Charles Pfizer Sr, Emile Pfizer, assumed the company Presidency when Charles Jr resigned, and was the last family member to control the business.

Wife: Anna Hausch Pfizer (m. 1859, d. 1908)
Daughter: Ann (d. infancy)
Son: Charles Pfizer Jr. (Pfizer President, horse breeder)
Son: Julius Pfizer (d. childhood)
Son: Gustave Pfizer (b. 1861, d. 1944)
Son: Emile Pfizer (Pfizer President, b. 1866, d. 1941)
Daughter: Alice Pfizer (Baroness Bachofen von Echt, b. 1876, d. 1951)

    High School: Stettin Gymnasium, Stettin, Germany

    Pfizer Founder & President (1849-1900)
    Naturalized US Citizen
    German Ancestry


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