Alexander McCormick Sturm
|Alexander McCormick Sturm|
William B. Ruger and Alexander McCormick Sturm (with beard) in 1950. Together they founded Sturm, Ruger & Co., with Ruger providing the gun expertise, and Sturm providing the eagle logo and financial backing. Tragically, Sturm died the next year, in 1951.
|Born||Alexander McCormick Sturm
June 24, 1923
|Died||November 16, 1951
|Occupation||artist, author, entrepreneur|
|Employer||Sturm, Ruger & Co.|
|Spouse(s)||Paulina Longworth Sturm|
Alexander "Alex" McCormick Sturm (June 23, 1923 – November 13, 1951) was an American artist, author, and entrepreneur who co-founded in 1949, the American firearm maker, Sturm, Ruger & Co. Sturm provided the start-up money and designed the Germanic heraldic eagle that is found on Ruger guns. He married Paulina Longworth, the granddaughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, with whom he had a daughter. Sturm came from a prominent Connecticut family, and his wealthy mother was of the McCormick mercantile family. He was a Yale University graduate. Not long after the company had begun to succeed financially and gain traction, Sturm suffered an untimely death from viral hepatitis in 1951. He was 28 years old.
Alex's father, sculptor Justin Sturm, had been a football star at Yale, and his uncle was World War I flier Alexander McCormick, Jr. As a writer and artist, he was, during his life, perhaps best known for his two popular illustrated children's books, The Problem Fox, and From Ambush to Zig-zag, both published before he graduated from Yale; and for his playboy bon vivant lifestyle. A New York Times reviewer described the The Problem Fox as "marvelous", and "a little masterpiece."
While a student at Yale, he liked to dine at the best hotel in town, while other students would eat at the school dining hall. One of his classmates from his undergraduate days at Yale recalled: "He would go to New York regularly on the weekends. His clothes were all custom-tailored, and he was a Renaissance type, with all kinds of talent. An artistic sense, a true brilliance, were in his genes. Alex was a voracious collector: guns, canes, swords, heraldry". Although Sturm preferred to stay indoors, he was an accomplished polo player.
Co-founds Sturm, Ruger & Co.
He is perhaps best known today for his $50,000 seed-money investment in co-founding Sturm, Ruger & Co. in 1949 that was prompted by his interest in guns and his friendship with William B. Ruger. Ruger provided the technical know-how as a gunsmith, and business acumen; Sturm provided the Germanic heraldic-based red eagle logo and all of the financial backing necessary for starting the fledgling firearms business.
During World War II, Sturm was an officer with the Office of Strategic Services in Washington D.C., and it was there that he met Paulina Longworth, who was the granddaughter of President Theodore Roosevelt (Roosevelt, who died in 1919, was an avid naturalist, hunter, and taxidermist, and had been a soldier. He owned a large ranch in Dakota Territory. As a big game hunter, he led an expeditions through East and Central Africa and the Brazilian Amazon).
Sturm and Paulina married in 1944. Paulina's father, who died when she was a child, was House Speaker Nicholas Longworth (Republican-Ohio), an influential party leader and 43rd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (1925-1931) (Longworth was popular on both sides of the aisle during his six years as Speaker, and the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill is named after him). Her biological father was Senator William Borah.
"...Paulina had personally helped launch Sturm, Ruger & Co., stuffing envelopes with Alex on Sunday afternoons, and giving moral support to the two partners. She had a faith in Bill Ruger's vison." The couple lived in Alex Sturm's home in Westport, which was situated near his parent's house on property that the family owned. They had a daughter together in 1946, Joanna Sturm.
Alexander Sturm became seriously ill in 1951 with viral hepatitis and died after a ten day stay in the hospital. He was 28 years old. The Sturm, Ruger trademark, which had been a red eagle, was changed to a black eagle by his friend Bill Ruger to mourn the death of his business partner.
- Wilson, R.L. (2008). Ruger & His Guns: A History of the Man, the Company & Their Firearms. p. 23. ISBN 978-0785821038.
- "Miss McCormick and Justin Sturm Will Be Wed on June 24," Chicago Daily Tribune, June 14, 1922; "Chicago Flier Dies in Battle, Another in Fall," Chicago Daily Tribune, October 1, 1918.
- "Justin Sturm, Sculptor and Author, Dies," Chicago Tribune, August 8, 1967.
- Wilson; — p. 38.
- Wilson; — p. 22.
- "Ruger history".
- Wilson, R.L. (2008). Ruger & His Guns: A History of the Man, the Company & Their Firearms. p. 24. ISBN 978-0785821038.
- "Bill Ruger of Brooklyn". NY Press. 2002-08-06.