Henry Ford didn't actually ask Alex Manoogian to come to Detroit in 1924, but the good-paying jobs Ford offered were as close to a personal invitation as Manoogian needed.
Manoogian came to the United States from Turkey in 1920 as a 19-year-old with two suitcases, $50 and a notion that hard work and diligence would result in success.
Manoogian formed Masco Screw Products Co. in 1929 with two friends.
The initial success of the company was based largely on the contracts it secured from auto companies such as Ford Motor Co. Masco Screw had revenue of $66,000 in its first year. The company survived the Great Depression and a fire in 1937 the only year Masco lost money and became best-known for a nonautomotive product: the single-handled faucet.
Manoogian was approached by the inventors of the faucet in 1952 about producing it. But there was one problem: It didn't work.
Manoogian agreed to look at it and signed an agreement with the inventors. After two years of tinkering, he had a working product. When the 30-millionth faucet was produced, Manoogian had it gold-plated and put it on his desk.
Masco Screw Products eventually became Masco Corp. The company's reported annual revenue was $3.2 billion when Manoogian died in 1996 at the age of 95.
In 2001, Masco's auto supplier unit, MascoTech Inc., was combined with two other suppliers to become Metaldyne Inc. of Plymouth, Mich.
Metaldyne is ranked No. 36 on the Automotive News list of top 150 original equipment suppliers to the automotive industry.
Michael Strong is a staff reporter for Crain's Detroit Business, a sister publication to Automotive News.