Sir Thomas Lipton’s Extraordinary Life and His Quest for the America’s Cup
Published: July 5, 2011
Today Lipton means tea. However, in his time Sir Thomas Lipton was known for much more than the Lipton tea empire. Raised in desperate poverty, he would build a global empire of markets, factories, plantations, and stockyards. But his epic pursuit of the America’s Cup—a yachting trophy and the ultimate in international sport—made him a beloved figure on both sides of the Atlantic.
More than a story of innovation and achievement, A Full Cup also explores Lipton’s most intriguing creation: his public persona, formed by a burgeoning mass media and a shameless self-promotion that made him one of the most recognizable figures of his time. Michael D’Antonio brings to life the surprising careers of this intrepid sailor, gregarious showman, and ingenious self-made millionaire—the world’s very first celebrity CEO.
From The Dailybeast.com “Hot reads”
This story of a Scotsman who was born poor in Victorian Glasgow and ended up a self-made millionaire, adventurer, and sailing legend would seem the stuff of fiction. But Michael D’Antonio has written a bracing biography of the man who can be called the original Richard Branson with his largesse and famous stunts. A charming and popular businessman founded the global tea empire that still bears his name, but Lipton’s unsuccessful attempts to win the America’s Cup, the renowned yachting trophy, were what endeared him to the public on both sides of the Atlantic and made him a true celebrity. A genial man who carefully cultivated his public image without letting ego rule him, Lipton was an innovative businessman, philanthropically minded, and well-liked from the slums of New York to the palaces of Europe, all of which D’Antonio captures with aplomb.
From the Wall Street Journal
“Captivating” declares G. Bruce Knecht. “Lipton made all the right moves and there are few flaws in Mr. D’Antonio’s nicely crafted volume…”
From The Washington Times
“It is clear from this account that there never was a more passionate competitor, but equally never a more gracious loser. And his failed quest drew great admiration and sympathy… A Full Cup celebrates a remarkable man: a great philanthropist and entrepreneurial tradesman, blessed with style, flair and, most of all, great spirit.”
From The Connecticut Post
“Just as Seabiscuit captured the imaginations of many readers who didn’t really care about horseracing, Michael D’Antonio’s new book, A Full Cup turns the life of grocer and tea entrepreneur Thomas Lipton into a thrilling story you won’t be able to put down.”
From DailyFinance.com at AOL
An Excellent New Biography
“..stimulating and informative…” writes Hardy Green. “In contrast to such Robber Barons as John D. Rockefeller, Sr. Lipton was “the good millionaire,” in D’Antonio’s words – a paragon who’d risen from Glaswegian poverty to riches via his exemplary personal attributes. And anticipating such figures as Noel Coward and Alistair Cooke, the much feted and congratulated Lipton became America’s professional Englishman — a worthy candidate for a special relationship. Lipton was treated like royalty during trips to the United States. A 1931 visit, though, was special, as Lipton was presented with a “loser’s cup” fashioned by Tiffany. Given a police escort to New York’s City Hall, cheered by thousands outside and inside the building, he was praised by Mayor Jimmy Walker as “the greatest sportsman of our time.”