When Sam Black retired from Erie Insurance as an active executive in 1961 the company earned $14,228,000 in premiums. By the time he stepped down as an active board member in 1997 the company's property/casualty premiums had nearly topped $2 billion (see Figure 1). 1 The ERIE's life insurance affiliate, Erie Family Life, experienced similar dramatic gains. Founded in 1967, Erie Family Life grew from nothing to a company with $11.9 billion of life insurance policies in force and policy revenues of $35.1 million in 1997. 2