Sam The Banana Man. “Sam ‘the Banana Man’ Zemurray was a larger-than-life character. Which, according to Kinzer, is where Sam first immersed himself into geopolitics: Like many other American businessmen in Central America, Zemurray considered his land a private fiefdom. After 1932, this world, known as bananaland, was led by Samuel Zemurray, Sam the Banana Man, a huge, colorful Russian who started out selling … Samuel Zemurray (nicknamed "Sam the Banana Man"; born Schmuel Zmurri; January 18, 1877 – November 30, 1961) was a businessman who made his fortune in the banana trade. Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray was born Schmuel Zmurri in Bessarabia, Russia, in 1877 to a poor Jewish family. Today: Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray. In the banana belt of the Caribbean he was first known as "Sam, the Banana Man," and then later as "the fish that swallowed the whale." They threw the ripe bananas into the bay. Both companies played highly controversial roles in the history of several … Five Lessons From the Banana Man ... Sam simply bought it from each owner. This gave Sam an idea. The icon: Sam Zemurray. His success earned him the nickname “Sam the Banana Man.” By age twenty-one he had banked $100,000. Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray introduces the United States to the wonders of the banana and becomes the richest man in New Orleans. In 1910, he bought 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land along the Cuyamel River. The legacy: To paint a portrait of Sam Zemurray is to paint a portrait of the American dream. He later bought a steamship and went to Honduras. He founded the Cuyamel Fruit Company, and later became head of the United Fruit Company, the world's most influential fruit company at the time. The colorful characters in this study are fascinating, if not always admirable. His success earned him the nickname "Sam the Banana Man." He later added more land and found himself heavily in debt. In the late 1800s, at age 15, Sam Zemurray immigrated from Russia to Selma, Alabama, where he saw his first banana. They loaded green bananas on trains bound for cities all across America. They emigrated to the United States when he was 14, where he began selling excess bananas from the ports in New Orleans to grocers along the railways lines so they could be sold inland before they were spoiled. Sam Zemurray. Sam "the Banana Man" Zemurray, a Bessarabian Jewish immigrant, made a fortune in Honduran bananas after he got into the business of "revolutin," and his exploits are now legendary. Zemurray was also widely known in Central America for his philantropic works. He came to … By age 21, he had banked $100,000. Put them together and you have a startling and often hilarious account of one of the forgotten heroes (and villains) of the American empire.” —Zev Chafets Rich Cohen is a superb storyteller. Zemurray began life in Bessarabia and ended it as the de facto regent of South America. 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