Jump to: navigation, search

John M. Olin

John M. Olin
Born November 10, 1892
Alton, Illinois, United States
Died September 8, 1982
East Hampton, Long Island,
New York, United States
Residence East Hampton, Long Island, New York
Education Cornell University
Occupation Businessman, Philanthropist, Conservationist, Inventor, Racehorse owner/breeder
Board member of Olin Corporation
Spouse(s) 1) Adele Levis
2) Evelyn Brown
Children Daughters with Adele:
Adele Louise, Georgene
Parents Franklin W. Olin &
Mary Mott Moulton
Relatives Siblings: Franklin W. Jr., Spencer

John Merrill Olin (November 10, 1892 – September 8, 1982) was an American businessman. He was the son of Franklin W. Olin.


Early life

Born in Alton, Illinois, Olin graduated from Cornell University with a B.Sc. degree in chemistry and as a brother of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. With major financial contributions to the School of Business and the Olin Library at Washington University in St. Louis, both buildings were named after him. In addition, Olin Library at Cornell University bears his name, as does a classroom building, Olin Hall, at Johns Hopkins University [1].

He married twice. By his first wife, the former Adele Levis, a granddaughter of the founder of Illinois Glass Company, he had two daughters, Adele Louise and Georgene.

With his second wife, Evelyn Brown, he had one stepdaughter, Evelyn.


Olin started his career in 1913 as a chemical engineer for his father's Western Cartridge Company, a predecessor of Olin Industries, Inc. He became President of Olin Industries in 1944 and upon merger of the company with Mathieson Chemical Corporation in 1954 became Chairman of the Board of the new corporation, named Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation. Subsequently the name was shortened to Olin Corporation. Mr. Olin retired as Chairman of the Board in 1957 to become Chairman of the Executive Committee, a position he held until he was elected Honorary Chairman of the Board in 1963.

Olin was an inventor or co-inventor of 24 United States patents in the field of arms and ammunition manufacture and design and was responsible for numerous developments in ballistics.

John Merrill Olin died in 1982 at age 89 at his home in East Hampton, New York.

Thoroughbred horse racing

John and Evelyn Olin bred and raced a number of Thoroughbred racehorses, notably winning the 1963 Epsom Oaks with the filly, Noblesse, and the 1974 Kentucky Derby with the colt, Cannonade.

His granddaughter, Adele B. Dilschneider, is also a Thoroughbred owner and breeder whose memberships has included the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, the American Horse Council, the Thoroughbred Club of America, and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

See also

  • John M. Olin Foundation
  • John M. Olin Business School


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...