Gussie Busch

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This article is about the 3rd generation brewing magnate. For other uses, see August Busch.
Gussie Busch
Born August Anheuser Busch, Jr.
(1899-03-28)March 28, 1899
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Died September 29, 1989(1989-09-29) (aged 90)
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Occupation Brewing Executive
Spouse(s) Marie Church Busch
Elizabeth Overton Busch
Gertrude Buholzer Busch
Margaret Rohde
Children Carlota Busch Webster
Lilly Busch Hermann 1923-1995,

August Busch III
Elizabeth Busch Burke

Beatrice Busch von Gontard
Peter W. Busch
Trudy Busch Valentine
William K. Busch
Andrew D. Busch
Adolphus August Busch[1]
Parents August Anheuser Busch, Sr.

August Anheuser "Gussie" Busch, Jr. (March 28, 1899 – September 29, 1989) was an American brewing magnate who built the Anheuser-Busch Companies into the largest brewery in the world as company chairman from 1946 to 1975, and became a prominent sportsman as owner of the St. Louis Cardinals franchise in Major League Baseball from 1953 until his death. The Cardinals inducted him into the team Hall of Fame in 2014.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Busch was a grandson of brewery founder Adolphus Busch and grandfather of former CEO August Busch IV. He succeeded his older brother Adolphus Busch III as President and CEO. He began using the Clydesdale team as a company logo in the 1930s. Such Clydesdales were presented to his father pulling a Budweiser beer wagon to commemorate the end of Prohibition.[citation needed]

St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

The number 85 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals in honor of Gussie Busch in 1984.

In 1953, Cardinals owner Fred Saigh was convicted of tax evasion. Facing almost certain banishment from baseball, he put the Cardinals up for sale. When Busch got word that Saigh was seriously considering selling the team to interests who would move the team to Houston; he decided to have Anheuser-Busch get into the bidding in order to keep the Cardinals in town. Ultimately, Busch persuaded Saigh to take less money ($3.75 million) than what he was being offered by out-of-town interests in the name of civic pride.

As chairman, president or CEO of the Cardinals from the time the club was purchased by the brewery in 1953 until his death, Busch oversaw a team that won six National League pennants (1964, 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987) and three World Series (1964, 1967 and 1982). When his son, August Busch III, ousted him as president of Anheuser-Busch, the elder Busch was allowed to remain as president of the Cardinals.

Although the Cardinals were the dominant baseball team in St. Louis, they did not even own their own ballpark. Since 1920, they had rented Sportsman's Park from the St. Louis Browns of the American League. Shortly after buying the Cardinals, Busch bought and heavily renovated the park as well, renaming it Busch Stadium (but only after a failed attempt to rename it Budweiser Stadium). They played there until Busch Memorial Stadium was built in the middle of the 1966 season.[2]

Honors[edit]

In 1984, the Cardinals retired a number, 85, in Busch's honor, which was his age at the time. Thirty years later, the Cardinals announced Busch among 22 former players and personnel to be inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum for the inaugural class of 2014.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Busch's youngest child, daughter Christina Martina Busch died in a car accident while on her way home from school at the age of eight, in December 1974.[4]

Busch died in St. Louis on September 29, 1989, at age 90, after battling pneumonia.[4] Fred Kuhlman took over as team president.[5] Seven years later in 1996, Anheuser-Busch sold the Cardinals to a group of investors led by William DeWitt, Jr.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Born.". Time (magazine). July 27, 1953. Retrieved 2008-12-13. To August ("Gussie") Anheuser Busch Jr., 54, president of Anheuser-Busch, Inc., second biggest U.S. brewery (Budweiser), and president of the St. Louis Cardinals, and his third wife, Gertrude Buholzer Busch, 26: their first child (his fifth), a son. Name: Adolphus August. Weight: 8 lbs. 10 oz. 
  2. ^ Smith, Curt (2001). Storied Stadiums. New York City: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1187-6. 
  3. ^ Cardinals Press Release (January 18, 2014). "Cardinals establish Hall of Fame & detail induction process". www.stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "August A. Busch Jr. Dies at 90. Built Largest Brewing Company.". New York Times. September 30, 1989. Retrieved March 21, 2008. August Anheuser Busch Jr., the master showman and irrepressible salesman who turned a small family operation into the world's largest brewing company, died yesterday at his home in suburban St. Louis County, Mo. 
  5. ^ Schlegel, John (April 3, 2010). "Former Cards executive Kuhlmann dies". www.stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved November 9, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
St. Louis Cardinals President
1953–1989
Succeeded by
Fred Kuhlmann