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Salt of the Earth Indianapolis Business Leaders

Indianapolis business leaders have shaped not only the vibrant city of Indianapolis, but the state of Indiana as well. In many cases, these famous people from Indianapolis have influenced the United States and even the world. Below is a representative list of Indianapolis business leaders.

Indianapolis Business Leaders

Jonathan Byrd was an active member of the Indianapolis business community. They called him “the man who fed Central Indiana” because of his highly successful greater Indianapolis restaurant in Greenwood, aptly named Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria.
Bill Cook is the founder of Cook Group Incorporated, a leader in medical production and research. He is a respected benefactor of the city of Indianapolis.
Herb Simon – Chairman and chief executive of Pacers Sports and Entertainment, and the operation’s sole owner.  He also runs the Simon Property Group, a lucrative development group that specializes in building malls.
Harrison Eiteljorg, Businessman and Philanthropist, is the founder of the Eiteljog Museum of American Indiana and Western Art, a staple in the Indianapolis art community.
Angie Hicks started Angie’s List in 1995 when she got fed up looking for a good contractor and started going door to door to find reviews of local services.
Colonel Eli Lilly is a famous person from Indianapolis, Indiana     Colonel Eli Lilly was a distinguished veteran of the U.S. Civil War, with a stunning monument in the center of downtown Indianapolis bearing his name, the Eli Lilly Civil War Museum. This extraordinary man was also, however, a gifted entrepreneur who founded the now-global powerhouse called Eli Lilly and Company Pharmaceuticals.
Eli Lilly is the grandson of the famous Colonel Eli Lilly, an entrepreneur and talented businessman who brought the family pharmaceuticals business to new heights.
Josiah K. Lilly, the grandson of Colonel Eli Lilly, was the last family member to run Eli Lilly and Company. He also was a tremendous benefactor to the city of Indianapolis.
Jeffrey H. Smulyan is the founder of Emmis Communications, one of the top 50 public businesses in Indianapolis and a major media company throughout the United States.
Harry C. Stutz, the owner of the Stutz Motor Car Company, which produced the Stutz Bearcat, the first American-made car to place in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 Mile Race ( the Indy 500).
Madame C.J. Walker created her own line of hair care and beauty products. She became the first female who was a millionaire through her own achievements. The Madame C.J. Walker Theatre is named for her.

See articles and photos about other famous people from Indianapolis