Cornelius Vander Starr - AIG


In 1919 he founded AIG in Shanghai, then known as "American Asiatic Underwriters" (later "American International Underwriters"). His first employee, and office boy, was Sir Edwin Manton, who eventually became Chairman of A.I.U. and Executive Vice-President of AIG. Eventually, he hired Maurice "Hank" Greenberg's father as his driver, saw exceptional promise in the young man, paid for his education, and hired him as a trainee. It has been reported that he worked for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II while in China. One interesting point is that, after the war, he hired O.S.S. captain Duncan Lee, a lawyer, who was the long-term General Counsel of AIG. AIG left China in early 1949, as Mao Zedong led the advance of the Communist People's Liberation Army on Shanghai, and Starr moved the company headquarters to its current home in New York City. AIG was once the world's largest insurance company.

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