Busch Jr., August Anheuser

Signed photograph of the brewery magnate and baseball executive

Price: $50.00

Description:
(1899-1989) "Gussie", brewing magnate, master showman and irrepressible salesman who turned a small family operation into the world's largest brewing company as the Anheuser-Busch Companies chairman 1946–75. He also was a prominent sportsman as owner of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball franchise from 1953 until his death. He was honorary chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Companies from his retirement in 1975 but remained active as president of the St. Louis Cardinals, the National League baseball club he persuaded the company's board to buy in 1953. Born in St. Louis, he was the grandson & great-grandson of the founders of the company that bore 2 of his names. He entered the family business and became general superintendent of brewing operations in 1924. He took over as head of the brewery division after his father’s death in 1934. Although he did not become president of the company until the death of his older brother, Adolphus Busch 3rd in 1946, he had already made his mark as a salesman-showman. To celebrate the 1933 repeal of Prohibition, he recalled the draft horses that once pulled beer wagons in Germany and pre-automotive America and obtained a team to haul the first case of Budweiser down Pennsylvania Avenue for delivery to President Roosevelt at the White House. Since then the famous 8-horse hitch of Clydesdales has become almost as famous as the brand they promote. Through the Clydesdales and the Cardinals, other promotional gimmicks and a commitment to mass advertising, he turned a comparatively small, financially ailing company into the industry giant. In his 29 years as the company's active head, sales of beer went from 3 million to 37 million barrels a year, its flagship brand, Budweiser, the most popular beer in the world. His greatest promotional coup was disguised as a civic duty, the company's 1953 purchase of the Cardinals for $7.8M after the previous owner was convicted of income tax invasion. The club did not own its own ballpark (it was a tenant of the St. Louis Browns in Sportsman's Park). Amid rumors of a move to Milwaukee or Houston, Anheuser-Busch bought the Redbirds, and after the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954, it also purchased the ballpark, renaming it Busch Stadium. Busch Memorial Stadium opened in 1966, replaced in 2006 by the current stadium bearing that name. As chairman, president or CEO of the Cardinals until his death, Busch oversaw a team that won 6 National League championships (1964, 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987) and 3 World Series (1964, 1967, 1982). He became a familiar figure to baseball fans in league playoffs and World Series home games when he would ride into Busch Stadium on the Clydesdale wagon waving a red cowboy hat. In 1984, the Cardinals retired uniform number 85, his age at the time. Anheuser-Busch sold the Cardinals n 1996 to a group of investors led by Wm. DeWitt, Jr. His 281-acre estate, Grant's Farm, includes a cabin hand-built by President U. S. Grant and has a 34-room French Renaissance chateau and a well-stocked private zoo. A onetime rodeo rider who later served as Master of the Bridlespur Hunt outside St. Louis, Busch stocked his air-conditioned stables with several breeds, including hackneys, hunters and jumpers. SP, 8 x 10 flat finish b&w photo of “Gussie” Busch in string tie and cowboy hat holding the bridle of a pinto horse, signed at lower right in old age.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




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