March 18, 1915 - January 31, 2005
In Memoriam:  

Horace Hagedorn.
Remembering our Friend and Founder.

Ad man. Entrepreneur. Executive. Philanthropist. Father, husband and family leader. Horace Hagedorn had many respected roles in his 89 years. We fondly remember the founder of Miracle-Gro for his business principles, his passion and his commitment to using his success to make the world a better place.

Horace had a profound influence on the lawn and garden industry as well as his community. His legacy is in many ways awesome, almost intimidating. It also is surprisingly simple.

He was a marketing genius. He turned a simple blue powder into a trusted friend for gardeners around the world. With this “miracle” solution, gardeners could grow giant vegetables and flowers more beautiful than they ever imagined. He once offered a $100,000 prize to anyone who could grow a world-record tomato – so long, of course, as they used Miracle-Gro.

Upon his retirement in 1997, Horace, along with his wife Amy, spent the remainder of his life sharing his success with others. “Philanthropy

has given me a purpose,” he said at a fund-raising event. He was a tireless and generous supporter of dozens of grassroots and charitable organizations, but his primary focus was on helping less fortunate children.

Horace Hagedorn often used a simple phrase to describe his philosophy on both life and business: “Find a need and fill it.”

Indeed he did.

In His Words: What is Miracle-Gro?
Horace shared these comments with associates upon his retirement in 1997:

* Miracle-Gro is unique among America’s leading brands.
* Ours is a brand name built on trust earned by a long record of superior performance.
* It is the name of a trusted friend – simple and uncomplicated, reliable and safe.
* It is a creator of beauty. It brings enjoyment and satisfaction to millions of people. It occupies a special place in their hearts.
* It is part of the American language, synonymous with the growth of good things.
* Truly it is one of America’s most beloved products.

As I approach the twilight of my career, as I entrust to others this creation that I have sired, I say to you, remember this always…

* Nothing is more important than believability.
* Quality of product is essential to success.
* Keep alive the perception of exclusivity and uniqueness.
* Make every ad, every public statement seem important.
* Build into each advertisement your underlying belief that Miracle-Gro is a one-of-a-kind product that gardeners cannot do without.
* Think of it always as a source of pleasure – never a chore.
* Respect the gardener, for she is a trusting friend. Treat her fairly.
* Be not tempted to outsmart her, for she is smarter than thee.
* Let every ad enhance America’s love of gardening, for as the market grows, so groweth thy sales.

This is the philosophy of Miracle-Gro.