Edward A. Filene

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"Born in 1860 to Jewish immigrants, Edward A. Filene took over his family's Boston clothing business at the age of nineteen when his father's health began to fail. Despite his lack of formal schooling, Filene became one of the most ingenious retailing minds in the country, understanding that the best merchants do not sell products but serve human needs.

"In 1908 Filene attended a meeting about spreading the idea of credit associations in the US. Filene offered financial support to the credit union movement, and in 1933 Filene began touring the United States speaking on credit unions.

"Filene kept the credit union movement going at a critical point in its development. He never organized a credit union, and he was involved in the organization of the national association in only a broad way. But he was the movement's spiritual leader. Filene passed away in 1937 at the age of seventy-seven. Adapted from The Debt Shall Die with the Debtor: The Story of CUNA Mutual Insurance Society." [1]

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  1. Filene Research Institute Edward A. Filene, organizational web page, accessed October 1, 2012.