If I File Bankruptcy in Atlanta, Georgia, What can I Learn From Famous Historical Bankruptcies?

When you find yourself looking for debt relief in Atlanta, Georgia, it is important to have some perspective. As I tell my clients in my Atlanta, Georgia bankruptcy practice, bankruptcy will allow you to “turn over a new leaf.” In fact, many highly regarded people have declared bankruptcy and then gone on to make their lives even better. Here are just a few:

Walt Disney

Walt Disney’s name is synonymous with Mickey Mouse and the “happiest place on earth,” Disneyland. However, in 1921, he began a company called the Laugh-O-Gram Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri that was forced to file for bankruptcy two years later because his financial backers pulled out. It was then that Disney headed to Hollywood and became one of the highest paid animators in history.

Milton Snavely Hershey

Milton Hershey founded Hershey’s Foods Corporation in 1903 but the famous candy company was not his first business venture. His first four business attempts failed and forced him to file for bankruptcy. But, his fifth resulted in the major corporation that makes the candy we all know and love!

Abraham Lincoln

The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, declared bankruptcy in 1833 and spent 17 years of his life paying off the money that he borrowed from friends to start his business. It took Lincoln 30 years to achieve his goal of becoming President of the United States.

Mark Twain

The famous American author of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” lost most of his money investing in a worthless machine called the Paige Compositor, an automatic typesetting machine. He filed for bankruptcy in 1894 and discharged all of his debts, but was determined to repay them. He knew he could earn money by giving lectures to large audiences, so he traveled to Europe and spent the next four years lecturing in every major city. He used the proceeds from these lectures to repay all his debts.

Henry John Heinz

Henry Heinz started his company in 1869 selling horseradish, pickles, sauerkraut and vinegar. In 1875, the company filed for bankruptcy because it could not meet its payroll obligations after an unexpected harvest. He immediately started a new company and introduced a new condiment, tomato ketchup, to the market.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford’s first two automobile manufacturing companies failed! The first company filed for bankruptcy and the second ended because of a disagreement with his business partner. In June of 1903, at the age of 40, he created a third company, the Ford Motor Company with a cash investment of $28,000.00. By July of 1903, the bank balance was only $223.65–until Ford sold its first car and the company became the automobile giant we know today.

P.T. Barnum

P.T. Barnum bought the American Museum in New York City in 1841 and turned it into an exhibition hall for the presentation of unusual acts. Retiring from show business in 1855, he served as mayor of Bridgeport, Conn. After filing bankruptcy, he was forced to reopen the American Museum, but instead organized his famous circus, “The Greatest Show on Earth,” which opened in Brooklyn in 1871. In 1881, he merged with competitor James Bailey, forming Barnum & Bailey’s Circus (which eventually became today’s Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus).

Despite bankruptcy, the people mentioned above are all highly regarded for what they have contributed to the world. They knew when it was time for a fresh start and their lives were better because of that. If you need a fresh start and are considering filing bankruptcy in Atlanta, Georgia, contact the Law Offices of Charles Clapp at 404.585.0040 to schedule a free initial consultation.