Duesenberg, Fred

Duesenberg, (Frederick Samuel) Fred

(1877–1932) car manufacturer; born in Lippe, Germany. He came to Iowa in 1885 and manufactured bicycles during the 1890s; he also raced bicycles and competed on them against horses. He patented an efficient gasoline motor (1899), improved upon it, and patented it again (1913) with his brother, August S. Duesenberg. Fred established the Mason Motor Car Company (1905). The Duesenberg motor was used in racers, called Duesenbergs. Starting in 1914, his cars won three 500-mile victories in the Indianapolis Speedway. The Duesenberg Motor Corporation was incorporated (1917); Fred was the chief engineer. He died from injuries sustained when his car overturned.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.