He later bought a steamship and went to Honduras. Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray was born Schmuel Zmurri in Bessarabia, Russia, in 1877 to a poor Jewish family. 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." In 1910, he bought 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land along the Cuyamel River. This gave Sam an idea. Today: Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray. Five Lessons From the Banana Man ... Sam simply bought it from each owner. His success earned him the nickname "Sam the Banana Man." The colorful characters in this study are fascinating, if not always admirable. Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray introduces the United States to the wonders of the banana and becomes the richest man in New Orleans. Sam The Banana Man. After 1932, this world, known as bananaland, was led by Samuel Zemurray, Sam the Banana Man, a huge, colorful Russian who started out selling … His success earned him the nickname “Sam the Banana Man.” By age twenty-one he had banked $100,000. Photo Illustration Chris Silas Neal; Associated Press (Zemurray) By Rich Cohen. Zemurray was also widely known in Central America for his philantropic works. 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. In the late 1800s, at age 15, Sam Zemurray immigrated from Russia to Selma, Alabama, where he saw his first banana. The Banana Men is a study of modernization, its benefits, and its often frightful costs. The icon: Sam Zemurray. A new book about Sam “The Banana man” Zemurray reminds us of the meaning of untrammelled capitalism. He later added more land and found himself heavily in debt. “Sam ‘the Banana Man’ Zemurray was a larger-than-life character. At that time, shiploads of bananas arrived in Alabama. 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. 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 Sam Zemurray. The legacy: To paint a portrait of Sam Zemurray is to paint a portrait of the American dream. He came to … 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. By age 21, he had banked $100,000. He later bought a steamship and went to Honduras. 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. Both companies played highly controversial roles in the history of several … They threw the ripe bananas into the bay. 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. Zemurray began life in Bessarabia and ended it as the de facto regent of South America. Rich Cohen is a superb storyteller. They loaded green bananas on trains bound for cities all across America. Illustration Chris Silas Neal ; Associated Press ( Zemurray ) By Rich.. ( 20 km² ) of land along the Cuyamel River in 1877 to a poor family... Earned him the nickname `` Sam the Banana Man '' Zemurray was a larger-than-life character Man. ” By 21... 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