Family Business

Imparting family values to the next generations


4 min




Watch Carolyn Greenspon, a 5th generation member of The New York Times Company founding family, describe the influence her late great-grand-mother still has on the family to this day, and how business family leaders can act as role models to inspire generations to come.


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I grew up in a large family; I am part of a fifth generation family business. From the beginning the family was the main thing, and the legacy of my family has always been something that has really, really been important. I was very fortunate my great-grandmother was alive until I was twenty-one years of age. Great-Granny, which is what I called her, was an extremely loving person. She really cared for all of us; she would open sort of her house up to all of us. She would sort of have these loving big reunions, and there were three, or four generations represented, so there would be, you know, at least forty to fifty people. And what was so important to her and so important to also my grandmother and my immediate family was the time that we had all together.

The values that were really ... View More passed down to me that continue to be so important in my family were the importance of taking care of each other, spending time with each other, looking out for each other, that family comes first, blood is thicker than water. Those were things that I think from an early age were really, really important. That was really sort of the foundation for us as a family.

The values that were passed on were not only the family piece but things like philanthropy. It was something that she not only talked to us about but also really modeled. She was very much dedicated to New York City. New York City had been good to my family. She loved nature; she loved the parks. I remember spending lots of time with my great-grandmother walking around Central Park. My great-grandmother was very involved in the Central Park Conservancy, re-building Central Park, the importance of helping build playgrounds throughout all the boroughs of New York City, how important that would be for kids. So the values of, the importance of not only giving money but also just giving time.

I think the other thing is the work ethic that was sort of passed down, the importance of working whether it is in the family business, whether it is outside of the family business.

I have been given so much from what has been passed down to me, and that is so important to pass down to others, you know, and in our community, and you know, for me to pass down to my children.