Thanks to abundant resources, a relatively stable government, and a business-friendly climate, Americans know that — with a good idea and some hard work — they can create a successful business. The American entrepreneurial spirit dates back centuries, even before the country declared independence from Great Britain. Some businesses founded in the colonial era are still active to this day.
Forbes reported that more than 500,000 new businesses are founded every month in the U.S. While many businesses fail to make a broad nationwide impact or disappear entirely, others continue to grow, expanding locations and becoming large national or even international corporations.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the year each Fortune 500 company was founded to determine the biggest company founded the year you were born. In a few cases, where there were no publicly traded companies large enough to make the Fortune 500, we identified the largest company founded that year by revenue.
Many different types of companies appear on this list. Large tech companies, retail giants, health care companies, and energy providers all occupy a number of spots on the list and are spread across several decades.
There are large companies that almost all Americans will recognize, like Amazon and Walmart, as well as smaller ones, like Sealed Air and Veritiv, that may not be as well known.
Many of the businesses on this list are not entirely new but merged with another corporate entity to become a different company. People have been eating Kraft cheese and slathering Heinz ketchup on their hot dogs for decades, but the companies merged in 2015 to become Kraft Heinz.
To determine the biggest company founded the year you were born, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the 500 largest companies in the U.S. in terms of revenue and listed the company that ranks the highest based on the year of its founding, as determined by Forbes. For the purposes of this article, the founding year can refer to the year in which a company was initially founded, merged, or was restructured. Companies that no longer exist were omitted from the list. Time Warner, which appears on the Fortune 500 list, has since been bought by AT&T and was removed.