St. Petersburg Junior College, Florida
William Haddad, CEO and Chairman of MIR Pharmaceutical, Inc., began his life early as a leader. In the final year of World War II he joined the Merchant Marine and was commissioned an ensign at the age of 16. After returning from the war, he enrolled in St. Petersburg Junior College in Florida, which was segregated. Haddad spearheaded a drive to racially integrate the college, and this led to scholarship opportunities in New York City and a lifetime of political activity that included a stint on Estes Kefauver’s campaign against monopolistic pharmaceutical firms, working for President Kennedy as the first associate director of the Peace Corps and later running Mario Cuomo’s first campaign for governor. His interest in pharmaceuticals, and especially breaking the barrier of the cost of them, came out of news stories he wrote that broke up a world cartel on miracle drugs. He credits St. Petersburg Junior College as "the pivotal point in my life."