Industrial Engineer and founder of General Electric Company.
He was co-founder of the General Electric Company plc, and in 1910 became its chairman.
He was created a baronet, of Witton in the County of Warwick, on 2nd July 1925 and elevated to the peerage as Baron Hirst, of Witton in the County of Warwick, on 28th June 1934. Hirst’s eldest daughter Muriel married Leslie Gamage, the elder son of Arthur Walter Gamage, the founder of Gamage’s department store. Leslie joined GEC and became Chairman and Managing Director after Hirst’s death.
As both his son and his grandson died before Hirst, his baronetcy and peerage both became extinct on his death in 1943.