A Trade We Bequeath to Our Offspring

Although Armand Hammer was known in the United States by his success as a director of Occidental, the biggest international oil company, and a personal adviser for presidents of the United States, from the days of Roosevelt to Regan, as well as being a business tycoon, his name was better known in humanitarian and charitable projects, not only in America but around the world.


Armand Hammer explained in his autobiography the factors that contributed to the deep-rooted spirit of giving and self-renunciation in his character. He wrote:

“My father was a prominent and very likable figure in our area. I used to be very excited, or even loved if you may, to sit next to him in his car when he visited his patients during his days off.


I always felt proud and honored to be the son of that man when his patients came out to greet him at their sills with all warmth, love, kindness and gratitude.


He was indeed a good man… He certainly deserves all the love and kindness that he received.”


“My father could have been way richer than he was, if he insisted on demanding payments from his patients, or if he stopped making generous donations,” continued Hammer, “but if he did, he wouldn’t have been the man he was.”


“I used to see the drawers of his desk full of unpaid medical invoices to his patients, whom he refused to ask for payment as he knew their financial status. I always heard stories from his patients while he was alive and after he died about how he not only gave free diagnoses, but often left the price of medicine to his poor patients in a smart way that wasn’t known but to the patient.”


Principles and values and all the high meanings did not exist on earth to be written on paper and bragged about by pretenders, but to last in the hearts of great men whose deeds inscribe situations beyond the capacity of books.


The most valuable and sincere gift we can give our children is an example in a situation that stays alive in their memories.


What great situations, and what beautiful pictures, and what valuable memories we can pass on to our children… It is the trade of love, giving and altruism.


It is the best trade, and the best heritage.