Samuel Zemurray

Strange Fruit

‘Tough Guy’ author Rich Cohen finds another quintessentially American character in United Fruit Company’s Samuel Zemurray.

Staff Writer

The author Rich Cohen first heard about Samuel Zemurray in the late-1980s. Cohen was sitting in a sophomore class on American Jewish fiction at Tulane, and the professor gave a lecture about Zemurray, the longtime president of the United Fruit Company, and, in the early 20th century, one of the richest men in America.

Cohen tells a classic rags-to-riches story in the tale of Samuel Zemurray.
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