Alexander Hamilton

His father abandoned his mother and him, poverty stricken, on the Island of Nevis in the Caribbean. His indifferent education was supplemented by reading the thirty four books in the home. After his mother died, her husband took all the property, leaving the orphan Alexander in poverty. His cousin adopted him but shortly after committed suicide. Young Alexander Hamilton managed to get employment as a clerk, with as unsure a future as a young man could have and with little prospect of a life beyond poverty and obscurity. At the end of his life, which ended tragically in a duel, Hamilton had become one of the greatest success stories of history having served as an officer on the staff of George Washington, Congressman, Delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Secretary of the Treasury, founder of the U.S. Mint and Major General. His service in the Treasury set the financial course of the new nation.