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On the Road Less Traveled

An Unlikely Journey from the Orphanage to the Boardroom

A powerful story touched with family trauma, deprivation, and adversity balanced by a life of hard work and philanthropy!

On the Road Less Traveled is the inspirational story of Edmund A. Hajim, an American financier and philanthropist who rises from dire childhood circumstances to achieve professional success and personal fulfillment. At age three, Hajim is kidnapped by his father, driven from St. Louis to Los Angeles, and told that his mother is dead. His father soon abandons him in order to seek employment—mostly in vain—leaving his son behind in a string of foster homes and orphanages. This establishes a pattern of neglect and desertion that continues for Hajim’s entire childhood, forever leaving its mark. From one home to another, the lonely boy learns the value of self-reliance and perseverance despite his financial deprivation and the trauma of being an orphan.

As time passes, Hajim displays a powerful instinct for survival and a burning drive to excel. A highly motivated student and athlete, he earns an NROTC college scholarship to the University of Rochester; serves in the United States Navy; works as an application research engineer; then attends Harvard Business School, where he finds that the financial industry is his true calling. So begins his rapid ascent in the corporate world, which includes senior executive positions at E. F. Hutton, Lehman Brothers, and fourteen years as CEO of Furman Selz, growing the company more than tenfold. He also creates a happy and abundant family life, though he never forgets what it means to struggle. At age sixty, he is reminded of his painful past when a family secret emerges that brings the story full circle.

 

"Like Horatio Alger, Ed Haijim’s story inspires. Whereas Horatio Alger was fictional, however, Ed is the real deal. His authentic and engaging book details his journey from parental abandonment and abject poverty to the pinnacles of success in the finance industry while sharing his hard-won lessons learned along the way. Ed epitomizes the eminent orphan documented by Malcolm Gladwell—someone who is able to turn great disadvantage into strength and success.” —Mark Zupan, president of Alfred University