Stinnes, Hugo (hōˈgō shtĭnˈəs) [key], 1870–1924, German industrialist. The son of a Westphalian mine owner, he founded his own company in 1892 and rapidly expanded his interests to build a huge "vertical trust" controlling mines, foundries, shipping, paper mills, and other industries. He owned vast tracts of land in South America, including the largest oil concession in Argentina. He controlled part of the press and exercised financial power through his banks. World War I helped to expand his enterprises; after the war, Stinnes took advantage of the German currency inflation to buy up businesses with worthless money. A founder of the German People's party, he was (1920–24) a member of the Reichstag.