Skip to main content

Ludwig, Daniel Keith (1897–1992)

Ludwig, Daniel Keith (1897–1992)

Daniel Keith Ludwig (b. 24 June 1897; d. 27 August 1992), American billionaire. In 1967, Ludwig purchased property on both sides of the Jari River in western Pará and Amapá for $3 million and named it Jari. He bought this Brazilian property, the size of Connecticut, so he could grow and manufacture pulpwood. President Humberto Castello Branco granted Ludwig such concessions as ten-year tax exemptions and a guarantee that he could run his operation as he pleased without interference from the Brazilian government. Jari included housing for workers at Monte Dourado, the town Ludwig had built; 2,500 miles of dirt roads; and 50 miles of railroad tracks.

Although Ludwig planned to plant most of the area in Gmelina arborea seedlings, a fast-growing East India tree, the huge machines used to level the forest packed down the nutritionless soil, and most of the Gmelinas died. He finally covered one-third of Jari in the hardier Caribbean pine, which survived but takes sixteen years to mature. Ludwig did profit from rice he had planted around the Jari River; kaolin, used in the manufacture of porcelain; and bauxite deposits. These earnings, however, did not offset his losses because the remaining Gmelina seedlings failed to mature on schedule.

Despite this setback, in 1976 Ludwig spent $269 million on a pulpwood processing factory with a wood-burning power plant that was built in Japan and floated 15,500 miles across the ocean up the Amazon River to Jari. Ludwig had neither enough pulpwood to operate the factory at full capacity nor enough wood to keep his power plant fueled. He realized he would never recover his $1 billion investment. He sold Jari in 1982 for $300 million to a consortium of twenty-three companies backed by the Brazilian government. Jari continues to operate and has made profits from kaolin.

See alsoCastello Branco, Humberto de Alencar .


Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn, The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon (1990).

Gwen Kinkead, "Trouble in D. K. Ludwig's Jungle," in Fortune, 20 April 1981.

Jerry Shields, The Invisible Billionaire, Daniel Ludwig (1986).

Roger D. Stone, Dreams of Amazonia (1985).

Additional Bibliography

Little, Paul E. Amazonia: Territorial Struggles on Perennial Frontiers. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

Posey, Clayton E., and Harold K. Steen. An Interview with Clayton E. Posey. Durham, NC: Forest History Society, 1995.

                                      Carolyn Jostock

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ludwig, Daniel Keith (1897–1992)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . 24 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Ludwig, Daniel Keith (1897–1992)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . (January 24, 2019).

"Ludwig, Daniel Keith (1897–1992)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved January 24, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.