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Follett Corporation was founded in 1873 when Charles M. Barnes opened a used book store in his home in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. He sold new and used textbooks, stationary and school supplies. C.W. Follett joined the company in 1901 as a stock clerk. The company soon evolved into a wholesaler, selling used books throughout the Midwest and as far away as the Oklahoma Territory.
In 1924, C.W. Follett and his wife, Edythe, purchased the company and his four sons joined the business soon thereafter. During the next two decades, C.W.'s sons infused the company with ideas and enthusiasm, helping Follett Corporation to evolve and grow. Each of the sons and future generations of Follett family members diversified the business, expanding into college bookstores and textbooks, classroom curriculum, school libraries, and school management software.
Today, Follett Corporation is a $2.7 billion, fifth generation family business with 10,000 employees. C.W. Follett’s great-great-grandchildren work for the company.