Special Report

Biggest Company Founded the Year You Were Born

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Thanks to advances in technology  in recent years, a number of newer companies have achieved rapid growth and ascended the ranks of the Fortune 500. Amazon, for example, was founded in 1994 and now ranks fifth on the Fortune 500. Alphabet, which was founded as Google in 1998, ranks 15th.

While a number of the country’s largest, fastest-growing tech companies were founded in the last 25 years, the majority of America’s largest companies were founded in the 20th century. About one-fifth of America’s 500 largest public companies were founded before 1900, several with roots tracing back as far as the late 1700s.

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 current Fortune 500 companies founded that year, we identified the largest non-Fortune 500 public company founded that year, by revenue. 

Yearly changes in the Fortune 500, which has been published annually since 1955, often reflect the shifting nature of the U.S. economy. Many of the companies rising fastest on the list in recent years, for example, operate in one of America’s 25 thriving industries, while many of those falling in are in one of America’s 25 dying industries.

The 1980s yielded more Fortune 500 companies than any other decade. Sixty-one of the current 500 companies — including AT&T, AmerisourceBergen, and Valero Energy — were formed between 1980 and 1989, representing 11.4% 500 companies’ total revenue. The next most prosperous decades were the 1990s, which yielded 48 current Fortune 500 companies, and the years 1900 to 1909, which yielded 40 companies. 

More recently, the 2010s yielded 15 current Fortune 500 companies, collectively representing 1.5% of the revenue of the 500. For more on major companies formed in the last decade, see America’s biggest companies that didn’t exist 10 years ago.

Click here to see the biggest company founded the year you were born
Click here to see our methodology. 

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

1945: Southern
> Industry: Utilities: gas and electric
> Revenue: $23.50 billion
> # of employees: 29,000
> Headquarters: Atlanta, GA

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Source: ivanastar / Getty Images

1946: Lowe’s
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $71.31 billion
> # of employees: 310,000
> Headquarters: Mooresville, NC

Source: HollyFrontier Corporation

1947: HollyFrontier
> Industry: Energy
> Revenue: $17.71 billion
> # of employees: 3,522
> Headquarters: Dallas, TX

Source: dennism2 / Flickr

1948: ManpowerGroup
> Industry: Business services
> Revenue: $21.99 billion
> # of employees: 30,000
> Headquarters: Milwaukee, WI

Source: ADP

1949: ADP
> Industry: Business services
> Revenue: $13.33 billion
> # of employees: 57,000
> Headquarters: Roseland, NJ

Source: Miosotis Jade / Wikimedia Commons

1950: Ross Stores
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $14.98 billion
> # of employees: 88,100
> Headquarters: Dublin, CA

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

1951: Texas Instruments
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $15.78 billion
> # of employees: 30,000
> Headquarters: Dallas, TX

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1952: General Dynamics
> Industry: Aerospace & defense
> Revenue: $36.19 billion
> # of employees: 35,000
> Headquarters: Falls Church, VA

Source: Courtesy of Autoliv

1953: Autoliv
> Industry: Wholesalers
> Revenue: $9.80 billion
> # of employees: 67,000
> Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

Source: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

1954: Lennar
> Industry: Engineering & construction
> Revenue: $20.57 billion
> # of employees: 8,335
> Headquarters: Miami, FL

Source: Courtesy of Aflac Duck

1955: Aflac
> Industry: Insurance
> Revenue: $21.76 billion
> # of employees: 10,212
> Headquarters: Columbus, GA

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Source: David McNew / Getty Images

1956: TJX*
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $38.97 billion
> # of employees: 270,000
> Headquarters: Framingham, MA

*Zayre Corp. which in 1987 formed TJX during a corporate restructuring.

1957: O’Reilly Automotive
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $9.54 billion
> # of employees: 79,174
> Headquarters: Springfield, MO

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

1958: Visa
> Industry: Business services
> Revenue: $20.61 billion
> # of employees: 17,000
> Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

1959: Aramark
> Industry: Business services
> Revenue: $15.79 billion
> # of employees: 227,200
> Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA

Source: Courtesy of Simon Property Group

1960: Simon Property Group
> Industry: Real Estate
> Revenue: $5.66 billion
> # of employees: 5,000
> Headquarters: Indianapolis, IN

Source: Thomas_Kelley / iStock

1961: Humana
> Industry: Health care
> Revenue: $56.91 billion
> # of employees: 41,600
> Headquarters: Louisville, KY

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Source: slobo / Getty Images

1962: Walmart
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $514.41 billion
> # of employees: 2,200,000
> Headquarters: Bentonville, AR

Source: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

1963: CVS Health
> Industry: Health care
> Revenue: $194.58 billion
> # of employees: 295,000
> Headquarters: Woonsocket, RI

Source: opengridscheduler / Flickr

1964: Nike
> Industry: Apparel
> Revenue: $36.40 billion
> # of employees: 73,100
> Headquarters: Beaverton, OR

Source: A-Mark Precious Metals

1965: A-Mark Precious Metals
> Industry: Materials
> Revenue: $7.61 billion
> # of employees: 184
> Headquarters: El Segundo, CA

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Source: Nicholas Eckhart / Wikimedia Commons

1966: Best Buy
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $42.88 billion
> # of employees: 125,000
> Headquarters: Richfield, MN

Source: Boarding1Now / Getty Images

1967: Southwest Airlines
> Industry: Airline
> Revenue: $21.97 billion
> # of employees: 60,590
> Headquarters: Dallas, TX

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

1968: Intel
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $70.85 billion
> # of employees: 107,400
> Headquarters: Santa Clara, CA

1969: Sysco
> Industry: Wholesalers
> Revenue: $58.73 billion
> # of employees: 67,000
> Headquarters: Houston, TX

Source: Stefan Zaklin / Getty Images

1970: Freddie Mac
> Industry: Financials
> Revenue: $73.60 billion
> # of employees: 6,600
> Headquarters: McLean, VA

Source: Courtesy of Cardinal Health

1971: Cardinal Health
> Industry: Wholesalers
> Revenue: $136.81 billion
> # of employees: 50,000
> Headquarters: Duublin, OH

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1972: TravelCenters of America
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $6.97 billion
> # of employees: 18,277
> Headquarters: Westlake, OH

Source: Reinsurance Group of America

1973: Reinsurance Group of America
> Industry: Financials
> Revenue: $12.88 billion
> # of employees: 2,767
> Headquarters: Chesterfield, MO

Source: Courtesy of UnitedHealth Group

1974: UnitedHealth Group
> Industry: Health care
> Revenue: $226.25 billion
> # of employees: 320,000
> Headquarters: Minnetonka, MN

Source: Raimond Spekking / Wikimedia Commons

1975: Microsoft
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $110.36 billion
> # of employees: 148,465
> Headquarters: Redmond, WA

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Source: Photo by Eric Thayer / Getty Images

1976: Apple
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $265.60 billion
> # of employees: 137,000
> Headquarters: Cupertino, CA

Source: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

1977: Oracle
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $39.83 billion
> # of employees: 136,000
> Headquarters: Redwood City, CA

Source: Lokibaho / Getty Images

1978: Home Depot
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $108.20 billion
> # of employees: 400,000
> Headquarters: Atlanta, GA

Source: Courtesy of Twenty-First Century Fox

1979: Twenty-First Century Fox
> Industry: Media
> Revenue: $30.40 billion
> # of employees: 22,400
> Headquarters: New York, NY

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

1980: Valero Energy
> Industry: Energy
> Revenue: $111.41 billion
> # of employees: 10,015
> Headquarters: San Antonio, TX

Source: Luca Galuzzi / Wikimedia Commons

1981: Plains GP Holdings
> Industry: Utilities: gas and electric
> Revenue: $34.06 billion
> # of employees: 4,900
> Headquarters: Houston, TX

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Source: Courtesy of IQVIA

1982: IQVIA Holdings
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $10.41 billion
> # of employees: 58,000
> Headquarters: Durham, NC

Source: RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images

1983: AT&T
> Industry: Telecommunications
> Revenue: $170.76 billion
> # of employees: 251,840
> Headquarters: Dallas, TX

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

1984: Dell Technologies
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $90.62 billion
> # of employees: 157,000
> Headquarters: Round Rock, TX

Source: Kritchanut / Getty Images

1985: AmerisourceBergen
> Industry: Wholesalers
> Revenue: $167.94 billion
> # of employees: 20,000
> Headquarters: Chesterbrook, PA

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Source: Courtesy of Enterprise Products Partners

1986: Enterprise Products Partners
> Industry: Utilities: gas and electric
> Revenue: $36.53 billion
> # of employees: 7,000
> Headquarters: Houston, TX

1987: Gilead Sciences
> Industry: Health care
> Revenue: $22.13 billion
> # of employees: 10,000
> Headquarters: Foster City, CA

Source: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

1988: Capital One Financial
> Industry: Financials
> Revenue: $32.38 billion
> # of employees: 50,000
> Headquarters: McLean, VA

1989: XPO Logistics
> Industry: Transportation
> Revenue: $17.28 billion
> # of employees: 100,000
> Headquarters: Greenwich, CT

Source: Courtesy of Penske Automotive Group

1990: Penske Automotive Group
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $22.79 billion
> # of employees: 27,000
> Headquarters: Bloomfield Hills, MI

1991: AutoNation
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $21.41 billion
> # of employees: 26,000
> Headquarters: Fort Lauderdale, FL

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1992: NetApp
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $5.91 billion
> # of employees: 10,500
> Headquarters: Sunnyvale, CA

Source: Yana Paskova / Getty Images

1993: CarMax
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $17.98 billion
> # of employees: 25,000
> Headquarters: Richmond, VA

Source: ollo / Getty Images

1994: Amazoncom
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $232.89 billion
> # of employees: 750,000
> Headquarters: Seattle, WA

Source: scattered / Flickr

1995: DTE Energy
> Industry: Energy
> Revenue: $14.21 billion
> # of employees: 10,000
> Headquarters: Detroit, MI

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Source: Courtesy of Murphy USA

1996: Murphy USA
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $12.52 billion
> # of employees: 9,500
> Headquarters: El Dorado, AR

1997: Jones Lang LaSalle
> Industry: Real Estate
> Revenue: $16.32 billion
> # of employees: 90,000
> Headquarters: Chicago, IL

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

1998: Alphabet
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $136.82 billion
> # of employees: 1,035,549
> Headquarters: Mountain View, CA

1999: Charter Communications
> Industry: Telecommunications
> Revenue: $43.63 billion
> # of employees: 98,000
> Headquarters: Stamford, CT

Source: Courtesy of Intercontinental Exchange

2000: Intercontinental Exchange
> Industry: Financials
> Revenue: $6.28 billion
> # of employees: 5,161
> Headquarters: Atlanta, GA

Source: Courtesy of Delek US Holdings, Inc.

2001: Delek US Holdings
> Industry: Energy
> Revenue: $10.27 billion
> # of employees: 3,717
> Headquarters: Brentwood, TN

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2002: Energy Transfer
> Industry: Energy
> Revenue: $54.44 billion
> # of employees: 10,000
> Headquarters: Dallas, TX

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

2003: Tesla
> Industry: Automotive
> Revenue: $21.46 billion
> # of employees: 48,817
> Headquarters: Palo Alto, CA

Source: bombuscreative / Getty Images

2004: Facebook
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $55.84 billion
> # of employees: 43,030
> Headquarters: Menlo Park, CA

Source: Courtesy of Global Companies

2005: Global Partners
> Industry: Retailing
> Revenue: $12.67 billion
> # of employees: 2,500
> Headquarters: Waltham, MA

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Source: Courtesy of Realogy

2006: Realogy Holdings
> Industry: Real Estate
> Revenue: $6.08 billion
> # of employees: 11,800
> Headquarters: Madison, NJ

Source: Courtesy of US Foods

2007: US Foods Holding
> Industry: Wholesalers
> Revenue: $24.18 billion
> # of employees: 25,000
> Headquarters: Rosemont, IL

Source: Courtesy of PBF Energy

2008: PBF Energy
> Industry: Energy
> Revenue: $27.19 billion
> # of employees: 3,266
> Headquarters: Parsippany, NJ

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

2009: Uber
> Industry: Transportation
> Revenue: $11.27 billion
> # of employees: 22,000
> Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Source: Courtesy of NGL Energy Partners

2010: NGL Energy Partners
> Industry: Energy
> Revenue: $17.28 billion
> # of employees: 2,400
> Headquarters: Tulsa, OK

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

2011: Huntington Ingalls Industries
> Industry: Aerospace & defense
> Revenue: $8.18 billion
> # of employees: 42,000
> Headquarters: Newport News, VA

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Source: Boris Streubel / Getty Images

2012: AbbVie
> Industry: Health care
> Revenue: $32.75 billion
> # of employees: 30,000
> Headquarters: Lake Bluff, IL

2013: Zoetis
> Industry: Wholesalers
> Revenue: $5.83 billion
> # of employees: 9,000
> Headquarters: Kalamazoo, MI

Source: Synchrony Financial

2014: Synchrony Financial
> Industry: Financials
> Revenue: $18.25 billion
> # of employees: 16,000
> Headquarters: Stamford, CT

2015: Hewlett Packard Enterprise
> Industry: Technology
> Revenue: $30.85 billion
> # of employees: 60,000
> Headquarters: San Jose, CA

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Source: Vistra Energy Corp.

2016: Vistra Energy
> Industry: Utilities: gas and electric
> Revenue: $9.14 billion
> # of employees: 5,275
> Headquarters: Irving, TX

 

Methodology:

To determine the biggest company founded the year you were born, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2019 Fortune 500 list of the 500 largest companies in the United States in terms of revenue. We listed the company that ranks the highest based on the year of its founding, as determined by financial filings, Fortune, and other sources. For the purposes of this article, the founding year could refer to the year in which a company was initially founded, merged, or was restructured. Data on annual revenue for the most recent fiscal year, number of employees, and corporate headquarters also came from Fortune, financial filings, and other publicly available sources.

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