One of Worlds Richest Men Develops Palm Beach Gardens
Just for the Fun of Doing It, But Figures He Might Make a Profit
You'd never pick John MacArthur out of a crowd as a millionaire. Even when you talk to him in his office at the Lake Park headquarters of Bankers Life & Casualty Co., its a little hard to believe. The room is almost bare, with the exception of a not-so-modern desk, cluttered with papers, and a couple of chairs. MacArthur himself wears a sport shirt, slacks and slipper-like shoes. No neatly-framed pictures line the walls. Instead there are plats of the growing city of Palm Beach Gardens.
For Palm Beach Gardens is his pride. "You dont want to know about that," he protests when asked about his 15-company insurance complex. "I want to talk about Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach County — thats what Im interested in."
But MacArthurs insurance empire is hard to ignore. He built it in typical Horatio Alger fashion (and got a national Horatio Alger Award this year for his efforts), starting as an insurance salesman and laying the groundwork for todays $200 million complex during ibs dark days of the national depression. MacArthur was the son of the pastor of a small Pennsylvania church and as one of eight children was forced to shift for himself at an early age. "I've been in the insurance business all my life, 1 went right into it after school and except for World War I, I've been at it ever since."