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Germans and the American Dream: Charles Pfizer, the man who founded a pharmaceuticals giant

In der Reihe „Germans and the American Dream“ stellen wir jeden Monat eine:n deutsche:n Auswanderer:in vor, der oder die sich auf der anderen Seite des Atlantiks einen Namen gemacht und den Amerikanischen Traum gelebt hat oder lebt. In der aktuellen Ausgabe der Read On widmen wir uns dem Gründer eines Pharmaunternehmens, das sich im Laufe der Zeit zu einem riesigen Konzern entwickelt hat: Pfizer geht auf einen Auswanderer aus Württemberg zurück, aber lesen Sie selbst.

Charles Pfizer, the man who founded a pharmaceuticals giant

Together with his cousin, Pfizer went to America to start the company we know today.

By Siobhan Bruns

1                 Hear the name Pfizer, and you think of medicine and vaccines – after all, the multi-national giant is one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. But Pfizer is actually the name of one of the two men who started the company, and his story begins in Germany.

2                 Charles Pfizer was born Karl Christian Friedrich Pfizer in Ludwigsburg, Württemberg in 1824, the fifth child and only son of the confectioner and grocer Karl Frederick Pfizer and his wife Caroline.

3                 Rather than follow in his father’s footsteps, Charles Pfizer was apprenticed to a chemist. His older cousin and future business partner, Karl Erhart (later also known as Charles), however, learned the family trade of confectionery. The combination of these two cousins’ skills would help them later.

4                 It’s not entirely clear when Pfizer left Germany, although it was probably the year before he started his fine chemicals business. It’s also not clear why he left – he had a pretty comfortable middle-class life. But Pfizer’s daughter said the reason was the same as that of many ambitious young men: America offered more opportunity, both economically and in terms of freedom.

Den vollständigen Artikel lesen Sie in der aktuellen Ausgabe der Read On.


0–2             to found s.th. etw. (be)gründen —  pharmaceuticals giant Pharmariese — vaccine Impfstoff — pharmaceutical company Pharmaunternehmen — confectioner Konditormeister(in) — grocer Lebensmittelhändler(in)

3                 to follow in s.o.’s footsteps (fig) in jds. Fußstapfen treten — to be apprenticed to s.o. bei jdm. in der Lehre sein — chemist Apotheker(in) — to learn the family trade das Familienhandwerk erlernen — confectionery Konditorei

4                 entirely ganz — fine chemicals Feinchemikalien — middle-class bürgerlich — ambitious ehrgeizig — opportunity Möglichkeit(en) — economically wirtschaftlich — in terms of … was … anbelangt — freedom Freiheit

Photo: Pixabay/Prawny