Founded in 1905 by Galveston business pioneer W. L. Moody, Jr. (1865-1954), American National opened for business on third floor of the Moody Building at 22nd and Strand streets in Galveston. At that time the home office staff numbered ten. By 1912, when it began issuing dividends, the company was soundly established. Life insurance in force passed the billion dollar mark in 1943, and later climbed into the multi-billions. By 1971 the home office employed 1200 persons, and the company was licensed to operate in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Guam, Puerto rico, and western Europe. Founder W. L. Moody, Jr., remained at the helm of the company for half a century. American National is the largest Texas-based life insurance company, and ranks among the leaders in the United States. It is the oldest in Galveston-- famous as an insurance pioneering site. The first home office built especially for the company was completed at 21st and Market streets in 1913. An additional building, at 21st and Mechanic streets, was completed in 1929. The company moved into the 20-story American National tower in 1971.