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Ernest G. ZumBrunnen’s career begins in 1932. He is just six years old, and the Great Depression is well under way in his hometown of Brooklyn, Wisconsin. Most people are struggling to earn money for their next meal, but Ernest spends his time thinking of new ways to earn a few pennies to buy bubble gum and marbles. The lessons he learns along the way would serve him well his entire life.

Ernest hunts gophers, ventures into publishing, and develops his sales skills in a variety of industries to wheedle hard-earned money away from adults. He also teams up with his wiry and energetic neighbor, Chuck Yarwood, a kindred spirit who serves as a worthy business partner. Together, the two are destined to make serious money.

Ernest also learns quite a bit from his Aunt Clara, who takes him in after his mother dies when he is two years old. She grew up on a farm, and her values instill in him a work ethic that would help him succeed throughout life.

Discover what it meant to grow up during the Great Depression, and learn lessons that continue to hold meaning today in The Kid Was a Hustler.

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