A Bangor Daily News article chronicled the life of Woodrow Cross, stating that he rose from a small town boy, to founder of one of the largest business insurance firms in the country.
Woodrow Cross began his life on a small farm in Bradford, Maine. His family ran a general store. Sadly, Woodrow’s father died, and the 21-year-old took on the responsibility of running the store for the next 16 years. Woodrow served in the Army during World War II, during which he fought in combat against Japan. During the war, in 1943, he married Janette Bean, with whom he raised five children.
Cross sold the general store in 1954, and moved his family from Bradford to Bangor, to take advantage of the city’s better educational opportunities for their children. After studying, Woodrow became licensed to sell insurance. He launched the Woodrow W. Cross Agency from his kitchen table later that year.
Over the years, Cross grew his insurance business. In 1963, he moved the business from his home to an office in downtown Bangor, and hired his first employee. In 1970, he hired his first family member: his eldest son Royce Cross, who is now president and chief executive officer of the company.
The article goes on to say that Woodrow Cross continued to be involved in the business, even after stepping down as president in 1983. “As chairman of the board, Cross came into the office multiple times per week, well into his 90s.” The article states.