According to Wikipedia, Bernard Castro was the inventor of the modern convertible couch. Born in Sicily, Castro emigrated to the U.S. in 1919. He never finished high school but went to work as an upholsterer’s apprentice. In 1931 with $400 in capital he opened his first store, which eventually became a chain. At his death in 1991, he had sold over 5 million of his convertible sofas through 48 retail showrooms in 12 states, becoming a multimillionaire in the process.