Jaquelin H. Hume

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Jaquelin H. Hume
Born 1905
Harbor Point, Michigan
Died October 1, 1991
San Francisco, California
Cause of death Cancer-related stroke
Residence San Francisco, California
Education Princeton University
Harvard Business School
Occupation Businessman, philanthropist
Political party Republican Party
Spouse(s) Caroline Howard Hume
Children Patricia Highberg
Carol Tolan
William J. Hume
George H. Hume
Relatives William Hume (brother)
Leslie P. Hume (daughter-in-law)

Jaquelin Holliday "Jack" Hume (1905-1991) was an American businessman and conservative philanthropist. He co-founded Basic American Foods, the world's largest producer of dried onion and garlic, and dried potatoes (used primarily for instant mashed potatoes). He was a major donor to President Ronald Reagan, and a patron of the arts.


Early life[edit]

Jaquelin Holliday Hume was born in 1905 in Harbor Point, Michigan.[1][2] He had a brother, William Hume.[1][2] He grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana.[1][2] He graduated from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey in 1928, where he had been a member of the Charter Club.[1][2][3] He then received an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1930.[1][2][3][4]

Business career[edit]

With his brother, he co-founded the Basic Vegetable Products Company in 1933.[1][2][3][5] The company sold dried onion and garlic as well as dried beans.[1][2][5] After it successfully merged with its competitors, it became the world's largest producer of dried onion and garlic.[1][2][3] In the 1950s, he founded the American Potato Company.[1][2][3] It became the world's largest producer of dried potato products, including instant mash potatoes.[1][2][3] Both companies later became known as Basic American Foods.[1][5]

On December 8, 1966, he filed the patent named "Process of producing large dehydrated onion pieces": 'US 3607316 A'.[6]


He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center.[1][2] He also served as Chairman of the San Francisco Museum of Art and Vice Chairman of the Asian Art Foundation.[1][2]

In 1962, he established the Jaquelin Hume Foundation.[7] Seventeen years later, in 1975, he established the Foundation for Teaching Economics, a non-profit organization which promotes the teaching of economics in elementary and high schools in the United States.[1][2][3] He received the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, a conservative organization, for his philanthropic work to promote free market economics.[3]

He was a staunch supporter of and donor to Ronald Reagan, both in his gubernatorial and presidential campaigns.[1][2][8] Indeed, he had known President Reagan as earlier as 1965.[9] He was also "a close friend" of Edwin Meese, who went on to serve as the 75th Attorney General of the United States from 1985 to 1988.[9] Hume established Citizens for America and the served on the Board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, two organizations which promoted Reagan's ideas.[1][2] He also advised President Reagan and helped him choose top advisors in his first Cabinet.[3][8] A letter from President Reagan to Hume and his wife dated April 27, 1981 has been published in Reagan: A Life in Letters.[10] He also raised funds for other conservative Republicans.[2]

He served on the Alumni Council of his alma mater, Princeton University.[3] He received the Alumni Achievement Award from his other alma mater, the Harvard Business School, in 1981.[4] He was a member of the Pacific-Union Club, a gentlemen's club in San Francisco, California.[11]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Caroline Howard Hume, a philanthropist.[1][2][3] They had four children: Patricia Highberg, Carol Tolan, William J. Hume, and George H. Hume.[1][3] They resided in San Francisco, California.[1]


He died of a cancer-related stroke in San Francisco on Tuesday, October 1, 1991.[1][3][8]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Bruce Lambert, Jaquelin Hume, 86, Dried Fruit Producer and Philanthropist, The New York Times, October 04, 1991
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Food Processing Pioneer Jack Hume, Chicago Tribune, October 06, 1991
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Jaquelin Holliday Hume '28 Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine., Princeton Alumni Weekly, January 22, 1992
  4. ^ a b Harvard Business School: Alumni Achievement Awards
  5. ^ a b c d Basic American Foods: About Us
  6. ^ Google patents
  7. ^ a b c d Justin Torres, Jaquelin Hume Foundation: A single-minded focus leads a small foundation to an outsized impact., Philanthropy, March / April 2006
  8. ^ a b c Jaquelin Hume, Orlando Sentinel, October 05, 1991
  9. ^ a b Frances FitzGerald, Way Out There In the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War, New York City: Simon and Schuster, 2001, p. 131 [1]
  10. ^ Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson, Martin Anderson, Reagan: A Life in Letters, New York City: Simon and Schuster, 2004, p. 550 [2]
  11. ^ The Pacific -Union Club Constitution & Bylaws, Published by The Pacific-Union Club, San Francisco, California, May 1991. [3]
  12. ^ a b Online Archive of California: Register of the Jaquelin H. Hume papers
  13. ^ a b Stanford University Libraries: Jaquelin H. Hume papers, 1964-1991