James Ford Bell (August 16, 1879 – May 7, 1961) was an American business leader and philanthropist who served as president of General Mills from 1928 to 1934 and chairman from 1934 to 1948.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he moved with his family to Minneapolis, Minnesota. During World War I he was appointed by the Food and Drug Administration as chairman of the Milling Division. In 1918 he assisted Herbert Hoover's European Hunger Relief Mission and was awarded the Belgian Order of the Crown and membership in the French Legion of Honor. His red-roofed mansion still stands high on a hill overlooking Lake Minnetonka.
He founded General Mills to consolidate many regional grain milling concerns. The James Ford Bell Foundation was established in 1955.
His collection of rare books devoted to the history of early modern trade comprises the basis for the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota.
- ^ Staff report (May 8, 1961). JAMES FORD BELL OF GENERAL MILLS; Founder of Concern Is Dead at 81 -- Was Philanthropist. New York Times