Prepared for Scott N. | Delivered October 15, 2020
Walter Thornton Biography
To provide insights into the life of Walter Thornton, including details such as Where he was born, Where he went to college, What he did on Wall Street, Where he worked? And his career in the 1930s and beyond? and after?
Walter Thornton was born in
Pike County's Beaver
, Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1903 to Walker Thornton (father) and Loella Saunders (mother). His father died when he was a year old. He later lost his mother as well when he was nine.
Orphaned at an early age, young Thornton joined the US Army at age
, which was lower than the minimum age to be enlisted. He was later discovered before being deployed and ended up in Cleveland.
While in Cleveland, Thornton worked as a model and
for a butcher. He later started up his model agency post-World War I in 1929, called the
Walter Thorton Model Agency
During World War II, Thornton "sent
thousands of photographs
and calendars of models to servicemen," which boosted his
Wall Street Significance
Thornton's picture of him standing beside a "
Chrysler Imperial '75' Roadster
" with a sign that read "
will buy this car must have cash lost all on the stock market," became an
depicting the desperation of investors during the devastating Stock Market Crash of 1929.
No available data describes Thornton as a Wall Street investor. However, his work and some
describe him as a high-magnitude promoter, which might be the context behind the famous Wall Street picture.
What He Did in the 1930s and Beyond
Thornton remained as the CEO of his modeling agency until the 1950s when he retired. During this period, his company grew to become one of the
biggest modeling agencies
in the US.
His company produced several success stories, including Hollywood stars "
, Arlene Dahl, Peggy Ann Garner, and Lauren Bacall."
After retirement, Thornton lived in
, and died on a Monday "at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in
Long Beach, California
. He was 88 years old.
He was survived by his wife, four daughters,
, and two grandchildren.
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