Across Regions

Inspiring: The man who became a millionaire selling potato peelers

Joe Ades was a street peddlar who became a millionaire selling potato peelers in New York city. He was born in Manchester, England and grew up in war torn Britain during the second World War, the youngest of 7 children. After moving to the US as a youngster, he struggled to make a living by peddling all kinds of merchandise. He sold $5 potato peelers on street corners in NYC for 60 years, even for long after becoming a millionaire doing that. He said the most unusual thing he tried to sell, was Christmas trees in February…

Even in a city of a million stories, the tale of Joe Ades, the “Gentleman Peeler”, stands out in a crowd – a dapper street salesman charming people into buying a simple tool . . . and along the way having the time of his life. “When you peel a potato, it doesn’t matter whether you’re right-handed, left-handed, or like a politician underhanded . . .” he would tell would-be buyers of his potato peelers.

Joe’s inspiring story is captured in the NBC video below. He passed away in 2009 aged 74, only a day after being informed that he had been granted American citizenship.