Gordon McKay

Gordon McKay (1821–1903) was an American businessman and philanthropist. An important figure in the mechanization of the shoe industry, his most lucrative idea was to lease his "McKay machines" rather than selling them outright, collecting a small royalty on each pair of footwear made with his equipment. He then secured his market position by, helping create the United Shoe Machinery Corporation cartel with his potential competitors. Upon his death, after providing for his family and mistresses, he left the bulk of his estate to Harvard University as an endowment to support capable professors to train future engineers. The gift grew to over half a billion dollars and was indirectly responsible for Harvard's inability to merge with MIT in the early 20th century.

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