Dynasties 2018: Work hard, or else

Dynasties 2018: Work hard, or else View Gallery
Dr Michael Smurfit inherited his drive from his father Jefferson Pic: INPHO

The Smurfit dynasty was founded on the principles of knuckling down and making the best of one’s situation – a work ethic handed down by the family’s formidable patriarch, writes Barry J Whyte

J efferson Smurfit was born into abject poverty in Sunderland in the north of England. He started his working life aged 11, just after the untimely and tragic death of his father, when his mother took the £90 she collected from the health insurance pay-out a large sum at the time – to set up a lending operation, upon which young Jeff would collect the payments from his mother’s customers.

Jefferson wasn’t particularly hard-nosed to begin with,...

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