Fedex History in a nutshell
the seeds of FedEx (FDX) were sown in 1965 in a report written for an economics class by Yale University student Fred Smith. Smith outlined an overnight air-freight system for time-sensitive shipments such as medicines, computer parts and electronics. Smith later said he couldn’t recall the grade given to his paper, but he guessed it was his “usual gentlemanly C” (.pdf file). Regardless of the impression it made on his professor, Smith said that he knew the idea was profound.
Smith launched his overnight delivery service in 1973 with just seven packages for the first night’s run. The young executive looked for cash anywhere he could find it, at one point high-tailing it to Las Vegas to play the blackjack tables and wiring his $27,000 in winnings to FedEx so it could meet a payroll.
Smith’s determination and persistence paid off. Merrill Lynch employees ultimately found FedEx so reliable and quick that they reportedly used it to deliver documents between floors at their Manhattan headquarters rather than rely on interoffice mail.