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1940s 1960s 1950s 1930s 1970s 1980s 1990s 1920s Ed was a thinker and a tinkerer. As he matured he was keen to spot opportunities around him. Never afraid to hustle, his work ethic and moral compass were setting him on a path for future business success. Ed Lowe entered the Navy in 1942 and continued his entrepreneurial journey by selling labeling stamps to his crewmates while in the service. After leaving the Navy Ed returned to work for his father selling grease absorbents to local industries. Everything changed in 1947 when a new opportunity came knocking. As his success continued with the cat box filler Ed looked to expand his product portfolio to include a whole range of cat-related products. During this time, Ed bought his first plant for the sole purpose of processing the Fullers earth. Vertical integration was part of the key to Ed’s success. Business was good for Ed and warranted the construction of a new corporate headquarters in Cassopolis, Michigan. During this time Ed was also busy securing patents and trademarks for the assortment of new ideas he was bringing to market. Being number 1 in a number 2 industry was not something that Ed took lightly. Investing heavily in equipment, research, development and marketing, Ed aimed to stay at the top. More patents and trademarks were filed during this time in addition to some other grand ideas that never made it commercially. The 1980s saw the reinvention of his original product under the name Tidy Cat 3–a great commercial success that owed a lot to his marketing efforts. Continued product innovations kept his competitors at bay while he started thinking about what the future would hold, specifically the creation of a foundation in his name. When Ed Lowe died in October 1995 the groundwork had already been laid to ensure that his entrepreneurial legacy would live on. Through his philanthropic activities both with the foundation and elsewhere, he established a template for paying it forward, so that others could benefit from his generosity. Every great story has a beginning. Ours starts with Ed’s birth. From an early age Ed showed a curiosity for life that would later turn entrepreneurial. 1940s 1960s 1950s 1930s 1970s 1980s 1990s 1920s Ed was a thinker and a tinkerer. As he matured he was keen to spot opportunities around him. Never afraid to hustle, his work ethic and moral compass were setting him on a path for future business success. Ed Lowe entered the Navy in 1942 and continued his entrepreneurial journey by selling labeling stamps to his crewmates while in the service. After leaving the Navy Ed returned to work for his father selling grease absorbents to local industries. Everything changed in 1947 when a new opportunity came knocking. As his success continued with the cat box filler Ed looked to expand his product portfolio to include a whole range of cat-related products. During this time, Ed bought his first plant for the sole purpose of processing the Fullers earth. Vertical integration was part of the key to Ed’s success. Business was good for Ed and warranted the construction of a new corporate headquarters in Cassopolis, Michigan. During this time Ed was also busy securing patents and trademarks for the assortment of new ideas he was bringing to market. Being number 1 in a number 2 industry was not something that Ed took lightly. Investing heavily in equipment, research, development and marketing, Ed aimed to stay at the top. More patents and trademarks were filed during this time in addition to some other grand ideas that never made it commercially. The 1980s saw the reinvention of his original product under the name Tidy Cat 3–a great commercial success that owed a lot to his marketing efforts. Continued product innovations kept his competitors at bay while he started thinking about what the future would hold, specifically the creation of a foundation in his name. When Ed Lowe died in October 1995 the groundwork had already been laid to ensure that his entrepreneurial legacy would live on. Through his philanthropic activities both with the foundation and elsewhere, he established a template for paying it forward, so that others could benefit from his generosity. Every great story has a beginning. Ours starts with Ed’s birth. From an early age Ed showed a curiosity for life that would later turn entrepreneurial. 1940s 1960s 1950s 1930s 1970s 1980s 1990s 1920s Ed was a thinker and a tinkerer. As he matured he was keen to spot opportunities around him. Never afraid to hustle, his work ethic and moral compass were setting him on a path for future business success. Ed Lowe entered the Navy in 1942 and continued his entrepreneurial journey by selling labeling stamps to his crewmates while in the service. After leaving the Navy Ed returned to work for his father selling grease absorbents to local industries. Everything changed in 1947 when a new opportunity came knocking. As his success continued with the cat box filler Ed looked to expand his product portfolio to include a whole range of cat-related products. During this time, Ed bought his first plant for the sole purpose of processing the Fullers earth. Vertical integration was part of the key to Ed’s success. Business was good for Ed and warranted the construction of a new corporate headquarters in Cassopolis, Michigan. During this time Ed was also busy securing patents and trademarks for the assortment of new ideas he was bringing to market. Being number 1 in a number 2 industry was not something that Ed took lightly. Investing heavily in equipment, research, development and marketing, Ed aimed to stay at the top. More patents and trademarks were filed during this time in addition to some other grand ideas that never made it commercially. The 1980s saw the reinvention of his original product under the name Tidy Cat 3–a great commercial success that owed a lot to his marketing efforts. Continued product innovations kept his competitors at bay while he started thinking about what the future would hold, specifically the creation of a foundation in his name. When Ed Lowe died in October 1995 the groundwork had already been laid to ensure that his entrepreneurial legacy would live on. Through his philanthropic activities both with the foundation and elsewhere, he established a template for paying it forward, so that others could benefit from his generosity. Every great story has a beginning. Ours starts with Ed’s birth. From an early age Ed showed a curiosity for life that would later turn entrepreneurial. 1940s 1960s 1950s 1930s 1970s 1980s 1990s 1920s Ed was a thinker and a tinkerer. As he matured he was keen to spot opportunities around him. Never afraid to hustle, his work ethic and moral compass were setting him on a path for future business success. Ed Lowe entered the Navy in 1942 and continued his entrepreneurial journey by selling labeling stamps to his crewmates while in the service. After leaving the Navy Ed returned to work for his father selling grease absorbents to local industries. Everything changed in 1947 when a new opportunity came knocking. As his success continued with the cat box filler Ed looked to expand his product portfolio to include a whole range of cat-related products. During this time, Ed bought his first plant for the sole purpose of processing the Fullers earth. Vertical integration was part of the key to Ed’s success. Business was good for Ed and warranted the construction of a new corporate headquarters in Cassopolis, Michigan. During this time Ed was also busy securing patents and trademarks for the assortment of new ideas he was bringing to market. Being number 1 in a number 2 industry was not something that Ed took lightly. Investing heavily in equipment, research, development and marketing, Ed aimed to stay at the top. More patents and trademarks were filed during this time in addition to some other grand ideas that never made it commercially. The 1980s saw the reinvention of his original product under the name Tidy Cat 3–a great commercial success that owed a lot to his marketing efforts. Continued product innovations kept his competitors at bay while he started thinking about what the future would hold, specifically the creation of a foundation in his name. When Ed Lowe died in October 1995 the groundwork had already been laid to ensure that his entrepreneurial legacy would live on. Through his philanthropic activities both with the foundation and elsewhere, he established a template for paying it forward, so that others could benefit from his generosity. Every great story has a beginning. Ours starts with Ed’s birth. From an early age Ed showed a curiosity for life that would later turn entrepreneurial. 1940s 1960s 1950s 1930s 1970s 1980s 1990s 1920s Ed was a thinker and a tinkerer. As he matured he was keen to spot opportunities around him. Never afraid to hustle, his work ethic and moral compass were setting him on a path for future business success. Ed Lowe entered the Navy in 1942 and continued his entrepreneurial journey by selling labeling stamps to his crewmates while in the service. After leaving the Navy Ed returned to work for his father selling grease absorbents to local industries. Everything changed in 1947 when a new opportunity came knocking. As his success continued with the cat box filler Ed looked to expand his product portfolio to include a whole range of cat-related products. During this time, Ed bought his first plant for the sole purpose of processing the Fullers earth. Vertical integration was part of the key to Ed’s success. Business was good for Ed and warranted the construction of a new corporate headquarters in Cassopolis, Michigan. During this time Ed was also busy securing patents and trademarks for the assortment of new ideas he was bringing to market. Being number 1 in a number 2 industry was not something that Ed took lightly. Investing heavily in equipment, research, development and marketing, Ed aimed to stay at the top. More patents and trademarks were filed during this time in addition to some other grand ideas that never made it commercially. The 1980s saw the reinvention of his original product under the name Tidy Cat 3–a great commercial success that owed a lot to his marketing efforts. Continued product innovations kept his competitors at bay while he started thinking about what the future would hold, specifically the creation of a foundation in his name. When Ed Lowe died in October 1995 the groundwork had already been laid to ensure that his entrepreneurial legacy would live on. Through his philanthropic activities both with the foundation and elsewhere, he established a template for paying it forward, so that others could benefit from his generosity. Every great story has a beginning. Ours starts with Ed’s birth. From an early age Ed showed a curiosity for life that would later turn entrepreneurial. 1940s 1960s 1950s 1930s 1970s 1980s 1990s 1920s Ed was a thinker and a tinkerer. As he matured he was keen to spot opportunities around him. Never afraid to hustle, his work ethic and moral compass were setting him on a path for future business success. Ed Lowe entered the Navy in 1942 and continued his entrepreneurial journey by selling labeling stamps to his crewmates while in the service. After leaving the Navy Ed returned to work for his father selling grease absorbents to local industries. Everything changed in 1947 when a new opportunity came knocking. As his success continued with the cat box filler Ed looked to expand his product portfolio to include a whole range of cat-related products. During this time, Ed bought his first plant for the sole purpose of processing the Fullers earth. Vertical integration was part of the key to Ed’s success. Business was good for Ed and warranted the construction of a new corporate headquarters in Cassopolis, Michigan. During this time Ed was also busy securing patents and trademarks for the assortment of new ideas he was bringing to market. Being number 1 in a number 2 industry was not something that Ed took lightly. Investing heavily in equipment, research, development and marketing, Ed aimed to stay at the top. More patents and trademarks were filed during this time in addition to some other grand ideas that never made it commercially. The 1980s saw the reinvention of his original product under the name Tidy Cat 3–a great commercial success that owed a lot to his marketing efforts. Continued product innovations kept his competitors at bay while he started thinking about what the future would hold, specifically the creation of a foundation in his name. When Ed Lowe died in October 1995 the groundwork had already been laid to ensure that his entrepreneurial legacy would live on. Through his philanthropic activities both with the foundation and elsewhere, he established a template for paying it forward, so that others could benefit from his generosity. Every great story has a beginning. Ours starts with Ed’s birth. From an early age Ed showed a curiosity for life that would later turn entrepreneurial. 1940s 1960s 1950s 1930s 1970s 1980s 1990s 1920s Ed was a thinker and a tinkerer. As he matured he was keen to spot opportunities around him. Never afraid to hustle, his work ethic and moral compass were setting him on a path for future business success. Ed Lowe entered the Navy in 1942 and continued his entrepreneurial journey by selling labeling stamps to his crewmates while in the service. After leaving the Navy Ed returned to work for his father selling grease absorbents to local industries. Everything changed in 1947 when a new opportunity came knocking. As his success continued with the cat box filler Ed looked to expand his product portfolio to include a whole range of cat-related products. During this time, Ed bought his first plant for the sole purpose of processing the Fullers earth. Vertical integration was part of the key to Ed’s success. Business was good for Ed and warranted the construction of a new corporate headquarters in Cassopolis, Michigan. During this time Ed was also busy securing patents and trademarks for the assortment of new ideas he was bringing to market. Being number 1 in a number 2 industry was not something that Ed took lightly. Investing heavily in equipment, research, development and marketing, Ed aimed to stay at the top. More patents and trademarks were filed during this time in addition to some other grand ideas that never made it commercially. The 1980s saw the reinvention of his original product under the name Tidy Cat 3–a great commercial success that owed a lot to his marketing efforts. Continued product innovations kept his competitors at bay while he started thinking about what the future would hold, specifically the creation of a foundation in his name. When Ed Lowe died in October 1995 the groundwork had already been laid to ensure that his entrepreneurial legacy would live on. Through his philanthropic activities both with the foundation and elsewhere, he established a template for paying it forward, so that others could benefit from his generosity. Every great story has a beginning. Ours starts with Ed’s birth. From an early age Ed showed a curiosity for life that would later turn entrepreneurial. 1940s 1960s 1950s 1930s 1970s 1980s 1990s 1920s Ed was a thinker and a tinkerer. As he matured he was keen to spot opportunities around him. Never afraid to hustle, his work ethic and moral compass were setting him on a path for future business success. Ed Lowe entered the Navy in 1942 and continued his entrepreneurial journey by selling labeling stamps to his crewmates while in the service. After leaving the Navy Ed returned to work for his father selling grease absorbents to local industries. Everything changed in 1947 when a new opportunity came knocking. As his success continued with the cat box filler Ed looked to expand his product portfolio to include a whole range of cat-related products. During this time, Ed bought his first plant for the sole purpose of processing the Fullers earth. Vertical integration was part of the key to Ed’s success. Business was good for Ed and warranted the construction of a new corporate headquarters in Cassopolis, Michigan. During this time Ed was also busy securing patents and trademarks for the assortment of new ideas he was bringing to market. Being number 1 in a number 2 industry was not something that Ed took lightly. Investing heavily in equipment, research, development and marketing, Ed aimed to stay at the top. More patents and trademarks were filed during this time in addition to some other grand ideas that never made it commercially. The 1980s saw the reinvention of his original product under the name Tidy Cat 3–a great commercial success that owed a lot to his marketing efforts. Continued product innovations kept his competitors at bay while he started thinking about what the future would hold, specifically the creation of a foundation in his name. When Ed Lowe died in October 1995 the groundwork had already been laid to ensure that his entrepreneurial legacy would live on. Through his philanthropic activities both with the foundation and elsewhere, he established a template for paying it forward, so that others could benefit from his generosity. Every great story has a beginning. Ours starts with Ed’s birth. From an early age Ed showed a curiosity for life that would later turn entrepreneurial.

Encouraging America’s entrepreneurs

After creating a billion-dollar industry that established the cat as the nation’s most popular pet, Ed Lowe set his creative sights on nurturing other entrepreneurs. This included a number of investments and activities, such as:

  • Speaking at universities, colleges and national associations to promote the importance of America’s entrepreneurs.
  • Creating an Entrepreneurs Learning Service (ELS) to provide entrepreneurs with quick answers to practical questions.
  • Establishing an entrepreneur’s boot camp at Big Rock Valley Farm (BRV). Under the direction of the American Academy of Entrepreneurs, this initiative provided counseling and curriculum to reinforce the chances of entrepreneurial success. (In 1991 Ed donated his estate at BRV to serve as headquarters for the Edward Lowe Foundation.)
  • Hosting a series of discussion groups to give small businesses a voice in national economic-development policy. Held in select Midwestern cities, these forums were known as the Free Enterprise Briefings.
  • Intern program at BRV

    On the corporate front, Ed sold his majority interest in Edward Lowe Industries in 1990. He retained, however, his stock in Granulation Technology Inc. and the patent for processing paper sludge into pellets, recognizing there was a limited supply of clay for the cat-box-filler but no apparent limit to the supply of paper sludge. He also purchased Wasser Glass in 1991. This firm, which produced a line of glass tiles with unusual color and depth, won an American Society of Designers Award in 1994.

    Ed Lowe died on Oct. 4, 1995. His legacy includes a passion for entrepreneurship and recognition of its role in a robust U.S. economy, as well as a commitment to land stewardship to ensure future generations can continue to use and enjoy our land.

    Grateful for his success and inspired to give back to the community, Ed Lowe decided to apply the profits from his various businesses to a cause he cared about greatly — entrepreneurship. In 1985 he and Darlene established the Edward Lowe Foundation to provide information, recognition and educational experiences for entrepreneurs, which was headquartered at Big Rock Valley Farms, a 3,000-acre property northeast of Cassopolis, MI.

    Factoids