Historical Tidbits: Gus Busch on Being a “Winner”

In the 1950s and 1960s, August Busch, Jr. — more commonly known as Gus — steered Anheuser-Busch into brewing domination, toppling the Uihlein family and Schlitz Brewing from their spot as kings of beer.

Gus Busch gambled on a strategy of spending money to make money, a tactic that paid off but transformed him into a target. “‘It’s wonderful to be a winner,'” he mused during an interview, but “‘the only one who really loves a winner is the winner himself.'”

Everyone else enjoyed the “delight” of “taking potshots” at him.”

Nor, he added, did the pleasure of being number one provide him or anyone else at Anheuser-Busch “‘with any sense of permanent security.’”

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Source: “Promotional Flair Keeps Busch On Top,” Business Week, April 13, 1963, p. 116.

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