He was born near Prattsville (Grant County) and grew up on a farm during the Great Depression. He listened closely when his father told him "It's no disgrace to be poor, but it is a disgrace to stay poor." He learned to pick cotton and to operate a mule-drawn plow. When he was 15 he spent the summer in Hope, as a bellhop and shoeshine boy at the Barlow Hotel. He graduated from high school at Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, Tenn. He enrolled in the University of Arkansas but soon received an appointment to the Naval Academy. Later the football field at the Academy would be named in his honor for his funding of its renovation.
Poor eyesight kept him from active duty in the Navy, so he joined his brother's business selling investment bonds. A decade later he and his brother became equal partners in the company. Eventually the brothers bought oil and gas companies and diversified into a major financial group, responsible for hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs across the United States.
His generosity of spirit and philanthropic contributions helped make Arkansas and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences a world-class medical destination. He became chairman of the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club, where the Masters tournament is played; the multi-purpose arena at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock bears his name because of a major contribution for its construction. He was named to the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Golf Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Who was this world-renowned financier and philanthropist from Arkansas?
See NOTABLE ARKANSANS--Answer
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