From the Fortune archives, this piece was originally published in July 1955:

There are in the U.S. approximately 30,000 executives, with incomes of $50,000 or more. These men sit on the top-most rungs of the business ladder either as managers or as owners of their own businesses. Obviously there is no “average” executive among them (they are all singular men). But their lives do have certain common characteristics, and there is visible a kind of composite way of executive life.

The successful American executive, for example, gets up early—about 7:00 A.M.—eats a large breakfast, and rushes to his office by train or auto. It is not unusual for him, after spending from 9:00 A.M. until 6:00 P.M. in his office, to hurry home, eat dinner, and crawl into bed with a briefcase full of homework. He is constantly pressed for time, and a great deal of the time he spends in his office is extraneous to his business. He gets himself involved in all kinds of community work, either because he wants to or because he figures he has to for the sake of public relations.

(Via Jim Ray.)

How Top Executives Lived in 1955