William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme

William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme
1851 - 1925

William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme  British Philanthropist

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William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme is a member of the following lists: People from Bolton, English philanthropists and Members of the United Kingdom Parliament for English constituencies.

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Details

First Name William
Middle Name Lever, 1st Viscount
Last Name Leverhulme
Birthday 19th September, 1851
Birthplace Bolton, Lancashire, England
Died 7th May, 1925
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Nationality British
Occupation Text Industrialist, philanthropist and politician
Occupation Philanthropist

William Hesketh Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme (; 19 September 1851 – 7 May 1925), was an English industrialist, philanthropist, and politician. Having been educated at a small private school until the age of nine, then at church schools until he was fifteen; a somewhat privileged education for that time, he started work at his father's wholesale grocery business in Bolton. Following an apprenticeship and a series of appointments in the family business, which he successfully expanded, he began manufacturing Sunlight Soap, building a substantial business empire with many well-known brands such as Lux and Lifebuoy. In 1886, together with his brother, James, he established Lever Brothers, which was one of the first companies to manufacture soap from vegetable oils, and which is now part of the Anglo-Dutch transnational business Unilever. In politics, Lever briefly sat as a Liberal MP for Wirral and later, as Lord Leverhulme, in the House of Lords as a Peer. He was an advocate for expansion of the British Empire, particularly in Africa and Asia, which supplied palm oil, a key ingredient in Lever's product line. His firm had become associated with forced labour and atrocities in the Belgian Congo by 1911.

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