When the iconic Fed-Ex logo was designed back in 1994, it came with a subliminal message. If you look closely at the white space between the “E” and the “x”, you’ll see a right-facing arrow meant to signify speed and precision. The company’s founder has an interesting background as well. Here are some fascinating facts about CEO Fred Smith and you don’t even have to pay a delivery charge.
5 AMAZING FEDEX FACTS
- In tune with business at an early age: When he was just a Mississippi high school kid, Fred and his pals started Ardent Records in a garage. It went on to become a nationally known studio where hits by artists from Sam and Dave to the White Stripes were either recorded or mixed.
- The teacher isn’t always right: When he later attended Yale University, Fred wrote a paper for an economics class where he described a concept for an overnight package delivery system—very similar to what FedEx would later do. The professor apparently thought it would never fly since Smith only got a “C”. Today, Fred probably earns more in a day than the professor earns in a year.
- Friends in high places: While he attended Yale, Smith became buddies with future politicians George W. Bush and John Kerry. Fred himself was once mentioned as a possible running mate when John McCain later ran for president. We’ll never know if things would have turned out differently if he had Smith on the ticket, but McCain lost by 10 million votes after he went with Sarah Palin.
- He decided to double-down: In the early years, Fed-Ex found itself on the brink of bankruptcy. When company funds dwindled to a measly $5,000, Fred took a big gamble. He impulsively flew to Las Vegas and played blackjack with the last of the money. He returned home with $27,000, just enough to keep his company afloat. As of 2018, Fed-Ex operated more than 650 aircraft and had revenue in excess of 65-billion-dollars.
- Fred’s a movie star: Well, kinda. He was in the 2000 movie Cast Away in which Tom Hanks plays a FedEx employee who was stranded on an island. Appropriately, Fred played himself.
FedEx might have a subliminal message in their logo, but more amazing is how they get package coast to coast in a matter of hours with an incredible degree of accuracy. Now That’s Amazing!