Dr. Bronner

Business Personality / Soapmaker
Date Of Birth:
1 February 1908
Date Of Death:
7 March 1997
Place Of Birth:
Heilbronn, Germany
Best Known As:
Creator of Dr. Bronner's soap products

German-American soapmaker Emanuel Bronner created the environmentally-friendly, multi-purpose soap that is packaged under his name. Dr. Bronner's soaps are known for their unusual labels, packed with dense and esoteric text describing his philosophy of "All-One-God-Faith!" Bronner emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1929 and settled in the midwest. Born to a family of Jewish soapmakers, Bronner called himself a "master soapmaker" (his doctorate was self-awarded) and had a keen interest in religion and politics. He married and had three children, but devoted most of his energy and time to preaching his faith that all the world's religions should stop fighting and save "Spaceship Earth." His wife died in 1943, and Bronner more or less abandoned his children to continue his mission. After an arrest in Chicago, Bronner was committed to a mental institution in 1947. Six months later he escaped (on his third attempt) and made his way to Los Angeles, California, where he eked out a living making soap and worked on the rambling disquisitions that have appeared on the labels of his products ever since. His soap, made of organic compounds and sold in health food stores, became popular in the 1960s with counterculture Americans. Fans were fascinated by Dr. Bronner's proclamations of "the Moral ABC" or "LISTEN CHILDREN ETERNAL FATHER ETERNAL ONE!", and charmed by his generous use of exclamation marks. Bronner's sons Ralph and Jim got involved in the business in the 1980s and helped build sales while keeping true to their father's vision of "constructive capitalism," i.e., sharing the profits of their endeavors. Blind the last three decades of his life, Dr. Bronner passed away in 1997, but his family has carried on with Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. Jim died in 1998, but Ralph still carries the family banner while a grandchild, David Bronner, serves as CEO.

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