International Telephone and Telegraph Corp. (ITT)
Former U.S. telecommunications company. It was founded in 1920 by Sosthenes and Hernand Behn as a holding company for their Caribbean-based telephone and telegraph companies. It expanded into the European market and became a major telecommunications manufacturer. In the 1960s and '70s ITT became a conglomerate, acquiring firms including the Sheraton Corp. and the Hartford Fire Insurance Co. It divested its telecommunications businesses in 1987, and in 1995 it split into three companies: ITT Hartford Group Inc. (insurance); ITT Industries Inc. (defense electronics and auto parts); and a new ITT Corp., which merged with Starwood Lodgings in 1997.
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