Larry Lightfoot, was born as Lawrence Elliot McCall II on Dec 25, 1981 in North Pole, Alaska. He is the only son of Lydia Lane McCall and Lawrence Elliot McCall Senior. Larry Lightfoot is best known for founding the company Lightfoot Gifts, a direct competitor of Santa Claus Imports. He is also known as the “man who tried to bring down Santa Claus.”
Larry grew up in the small town of North Pole, Alaska and graduated, magna cum laude, from Pine Tree High School at the age of 16. This was seen as a great achievement to his parents, both factory workers in the North Pole Factory of Santa Claus Imports (SCI). While Larry’s mother climbed the factory ranks to floor Supervisor in Doll Wig Weaving, his father never rose above a mid-level role in Shoe Adhesives. Larry has sited this lack of career movement as his motivation for academic achievement in his younger years.
Leveraging a full academic scholarship, Larry graduated from the University of Miami only 3 years later, with a degree in Business Administration. He has stated that, while he wanted to continue working toward his MBA, he “just couldn’t stand the heat.” It is unknown if this comment refers to the humid weather in Florida or the difficult nature of obtaining a college education in under 4 years. After graduation, Larry returned home to live with his parents and “decide what to do with his life.”
Upon his return from college, Larry found that his parents had lost his childhood home. His father, injured in a factory accident, was out of work and his mother primarily supported the two on her meager salary from SCI. It is largely believed that seeing his parents in this state was what pushed Larry to conceptualize Lightfoot Gifts.
Using his education in business administration and his passion to improve the livelihood of the North Pole residents, Larry received venture capital from large names such as Mark Zuckerberg and Pricilla Chan and founded Lightfoot Gifts in 2002.
After heavy recruitment of factory and administrative talent formerly employed by Santa Claus Imports, Lightfoot Gifts manufactured toys and gifts, selling them to SCI for delivery on Christmas day. Larry built the company with the mission of “creating gifts for children with love.” Larry based his practices on the principal that making quality gifts hinged on the life quality of those who made up the business. His strategies are said to have inspired those used by corporations, such as Google today, providing free lunch and dinner, on site massage, haircut and car cleaning services. The most well-known of these benefits is “Puppy Day” where puppies roamed the factory floor spreading joy and laughter.
Lightfoot Gifts filed for bankruptcy on December 22, 2012, two days before Larry’s thirty-first birthday. It was later found that, while he had graduated quickly from College, Larry did not excel in his finance coursework. Though productivity was high, Lightfoot Gifts did not make enough profit to cover the costs of employee benefits. While 89% of Lightfoot Gifts employees returned to Santa Claus Industries, following the fall of Lightfoot Gifts, employees have reported that the working environment has improved and that they owe this change Larry. Santa Claus (CEO of SCI) has also been known to credit Larry Lightfoot with helping him to understand the importance of worker happiness, as it relates to productivity.
After Lightfoot Gifts
Larry married Melissa Claus on May 2, 2015 and welcomed his first daughter, Lydia, 2 years later. Since closing the doors on Lightfoot Gifts in 2012, Larry has been a well-known member of the reality television circuit. He has appeared on Wife Swap, Celebrity Big Brother and The Celebrity Apprentice, where he was fired on the second episode.
Entered by Amanda Moore Horan.