Little, Royal(1896–1989) textile manufacturer, conglomerate organizer; born in Wakefield, Mass. (nephew of Arthur D. Little). He founded Special Yarns (1923), renamed Textron (1944). He invented the conglomerate by acquiring some 70 unrelated firms which eventually replaced Textron's original textile holdings; his success sparked the conglomeration trend of the 1960s. He retired as chairman and CEO in 1960 and founded a venture capital firm.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.