The first CPA legislation in America was passed by New York State in 1896. This paper examines the identity and characteristics of the first group of men that earned CPA certificates, and then traces the careers pursued by their progeny. The firms led by the first CPAs were congregated in New York's financial district and near City Hall, and included precursors of the Big 8 firms that dominated the profession during the 1970s and 1980s. The extent to which the first CPAs' occupation was transferred to their offspring was examined next, using record linkage methodology. The analysis showed that many offspring of the initial group of CPAs pursued careers in accounting, business, or law, although this occupation transfer was gendered, since only sons became CPAs. Thriving occupations are passed on to the next generation and the success of CPA children is an indicator that the accounting profession was successful.

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