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Bernard Rapoport Born Bernard Rapoport July 17, 1917 (1917-07-17) (age 93) San Antonio, Texas, U.S. Nationality American Education Bachelor's degree Alma mater The University of Texas at Austin Occupation Founder of American Income Life Insurance Company Founder of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation Bernard Rapoport (born July 17, 1917) is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, and is the founder of American Income Life Insurance Company. He has a passion for human rights, education, and literacy. Contents 1 Background and Education 2 Career 3 Philanthropy and Politics 4 References Background and Education Bernard Rapoport was born in San Antonio, Texas. His father, David Rapoport, and mother, Riva Feldman, immigrated to the United States from Russia in the early 1900s. Bernard Rapoport’s upbringing was very modest, and his father peddled blankets on the streets of San Antonio. Rapoport grew up during the Great Depression, and times for his family proved to be very hard. When Rapoport was 6 years old, his family was evicted from their home, and they continued to face financial difficulties through the Depression. Yet, throughout his youth, Rapoport felt they had much to be grateful for, including books and music.[1] Rapoport valued his education, and worked his way through college at a jewelry store. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in 1939.[2] Bernard met Audre Newman in January 1942, and they soon married. The couple lived in Wichita Falls, Texas, where Bernard continued his work in jewelry sales. Career In 1949, Bernard and Audre moved to San Antonio, and Mr. Rapoport began his career selling insurance with Pioneer American Insurance. He realized that he had a talent for selling insurance. By the end of 1949, he had opened his own Pioneer American agency in Waco. In 1951, Harold Goodman, Audre’s uncle, was impressed with Bernard Rapoport’s success and introduced him to the idea of running American Income. American Income was chartered as a mutual assessment association in Indiana with $25,000 of borrowed capital. It was reinsured through American Standard as a new mutual reserve company in March 1951. The company’s home offices were located in Indianapolis, Indiana. American Income originally sold low-cost hospital insurance plans. During its first year, the company took in about $95,000 worth of premium income. The company reached $1 million worth of insurance premiums in 1953. By 1954, the company was receiving 6,000 insurance policy applications a month. In September 1954, with $200,000 in capital and $100,000 of surplus, Goodman and Rapoport formed a new company called American Income Life Insurance Company (AIL). American Income Life reinsured the policies of American Income and was transformed from a mutual reserve company to a stock company. American Standard, the company’s original insurer, was merged with American Income Life, and the company acquired about $400,000 worth of premiums. Between 1954 and 1955, AIL’s assets had doubled, its net reserve had tripled, its capital and surplus more than doubled, and it had about $15 million of insurance in force.[3] In 1956, Rapoport desired to take the Indiana-based company national. He obtained a license in Ohio and opened a central office in Columbus. By the close of 1956, American Income Life was operating in thirteen states with 300 sales personnel in the field operating out of 96 general agencies. In March 1958, the company’s home offices were moved from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Waco, Texas where Rapoport now resides. Philanthropy and Politics Bernard Rapoport has used his success to help others in need. With $46 million of his own money, he established the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation in 1987, benefiting childcare, education, the Waco community, and other enterprises.[4] Bernard Rapoport was appointed to a six-year term on the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System by Governor Ann Richards in 1991,[5] solidifying his relationship with his alma mater. Mr. Rapoport was named by Fortune magazine as one of America’s “40 most generous philanthropists,” unstinting in his support for education, social justice, and liberal political causes.[5] He has been praised by political and social dignitaries such as Chet Edwards, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senator Hillary Clinton, President Bill Clinton, and Senators Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy.[1] Bernard Rapoport is the former Chairman of the Board of Regents for the University of Texas System. He was appointed by former President Clinton as a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN). He is a member of the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board, National Hispanic University Trustee Emeritus, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Economic Policy Institute, National Jobs For All Coalition, and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.[6] References ^ a b "Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation". http://www.rapoportfdn.org/whoweare.php. Retrieved 14 June 2011.  ^ "Former Regents of the University of Texas System". http://www.utsystem.edu/bor/former_regents/regents/Rapoport/homepage.htm. Retrieved 2 May 2011.  ^ Rapoport, Bernard (2002). Being Rapoport. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-77117-7 ^ "Search for Common Ground". http://www.sfcg.org/programmes/us/us_roster.html#rap. Retrieved 15 June 2011.  ^ a b "Roosevelt Institute". http://www.rooseveltinstitute.org/projects/roosevelt-awards-research-grants. Retrieved 12 May 2011.  ^ "National Jobs For All Coalition". http://www.njfac.org/whoweare.html. Retrieved 14 June 2011.