William Mowclothing entrepreneur
Birthplace: Hangchow, China
Mow's family came to the United States when he was a boy. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1959 and earned a Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1967. He worked for Litton Industries for two years before venturing out on his own. He founded apparel manufacturer Bugle Boy Industries in 1977. During the 1980s the company enjoyed 90% annual growth as it introduced a series of best-selling items including parachute pants, cargo pants, and denim jeans in various colors. Sales approached $1 billion, making Bugle Boy one of the largest privately owned apparel companies in the United States, but the company fell into troubled times in 2001, declared bankruptcy, and was sold that year for $68.6 billion dollars.