Finalist 2019

Jim Rumford is an award winning author, entrepreneur, historian and CEO of Rumford Industrial Group.

During the Tobacco Wars, Rumford’s own Great-Grandfather, George Washington Kinney, was attacked by “Night Riders,” who also destroyed the family barns and tobacco crop. Rumford’s other Great-Grandfather, George Washington Jett, was a “Night Rider” which brings a family dynamic into this story.  To help prevent history from ever repeating itself, Kinney compiled one of the largest private collections of Tobacco Wars primary documents in the United States. At six years old, Rumford discovered these documents and has been telling his Great-Grandfather’s story ever since.

Part memoir, part history, and part warning, Rumford’s first book, Tobacco, Trusts, and Trump: How America’s Forgotten War Created Big Government, draws startling parallels between the causes and consequences of the Tobacco Wars, and America’s political and economic challenges in the Age of Trump.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Rumford grew up in Bracken County, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio, and now resides in Dayton, Ohio.