Sebastian Spering Kresge Founder of Kmart
Sebastian Spering Kresge Founder of Kmart

Biography of Sebastian Spering Kresge

Early Life

Sebastian Spering Kresge founder of Kmart, was born in Bald Mountain near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S. on 31st July, 1867. He got education from the local school and college, in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania and Eastman Business College; from there he completed his graduation at the age of 21 in 1889. After graduation he worked in a hardware store as a clerk for two years. From 1892 to 1897 worked as travelling salesman.

Entry in Superstore market

In the month of March of year 1897, with one of his customers he started business. James G. McCrory, his customer, was the owner of several five and ten cent stores. He with Mr. James became partners in two of those five and ten cent stores. Through this way he initially entered into superstores market.

Founder of Kmart

He continued that partnership with Mr. James for two years. In 1899 he made his own company in same store department with his brother-in-law Chalres J. Wilson with initial investment of $8 thousands. Its name was Kresge& Wilson, which include two old stores and seven additional stores in different cities. This company progressed for several years and in 1907 he bought whole company by buying out Wilson and renamed the company “S.S. Kresge Company”. After five years, its capital increased up to $7,000,000 and stores up to 85. This company after his death was renamed to “Kmart” in 1977.


Kmart is a superstore company. It includes different types of stores at different locations of the United States. Initially these stores sold a large variety of products for 10 cents or less. These also included products for a price up to $1 also included in these stores after the success. But after WW II, Company expanded into the market as discount stores all over the U.S.A.

Later Life

After the success of his company, he established the Kresge Foundation in 1924. Its work was to give educational and charitable benefits to the needy people. And by the time of his death, this foundation had distributed grants of 70 million dollars with remaining amount of 175 million dollars.

On 18th October, 1966 at the age of 99 years he eventually died. In the history he is known as the founder of 20th century’s biggest retail organization “the S.S. Kresge Company”.