Our Founder

Early Life

Daniel K. Ludwig was born in 1897 in South Haven, Michigan. His parents separated when he was a teenager, and he relocated to Texas with his aunt and uncle. At the age of 9, he salvaged a boat and began learning the trade, presaging his future domination of the shipping market. When he was 19, Ludwig began transporting molasses throughout the Great Lakes region, establishing himself as a key player in the shipping industry.  

Business Ventures

As his business grew, Ludwig became the first to propose the concept of oil supertankers, or ships designed specifically for the bulk transport of oil. He quickly began diversifying and entered the oil refining, banking, cattle ranching, insurance and real estate markets. He was also actively involved in international business ventures, investing in both Mexico and Panama. In 1982, he was listed as the richest man in the world accoding to Forbes magazine. 

Charitable Activities

In 1971, he established the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, which was based in Switzerland. The Institute's mission was to launch laboratory and clinical cancer research, conducting its own clinical trials. Several branches were founded around the world, but Switzerland remained the headquarters. Following his death in 1992, his estate distributed funds to six top medical schools in the United States in order to further promote Ludwig's passion of cancer research.