Donald Hillsdon Ryan was born in Petersburg, Virginia, September 23, 1924.  He started his first business at the age of 12.  He served as a Lieutenant in the Infantry, US Army, in World War II. 
After World War II, he served in the occupation of Germany responsible for the allocation of all German transportation assets throughout the US occupied zone.  Later, he was in the first class to graduate from the Business School of William and Mary College.  He then attended the Harvard Business School.  After graduation he served in high positions in Procter and Gamble Company including Branch Manager for IVORY soap.  In 1957, he started his own retail service business in Brussels, Belgium.  He built up his own privately-held retail business to have 5,000 retail outlets in twenty-nine countries.  In addition, he was the world's largest manufacturer of shoe repair machinery, key-cutting machinery, and key blanks.  He was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by William and Mary College and was awarded the Order of Leopold II by the Belgian government.  He is now retired living in London, England.
 

5/9/2005 Obituary: Donald Hillsdon Ryan-mister minit.htm