Originally created 04/07/06

J. B. Fuqua (ATLANTA, Ga.)



ATLANTA, Ga. - J. B. Fuqua, age 87, entrepreneur and renowned philanthropist, died peacefully on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 at Piedmont Hospital with his family by his side. He was born in Farmville, Virginia on June 26, 1918. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends and colleagues who know his legacy will live on through the many organizations he supported during his lifetime. The life of J. B. Fuqua represents an extraordinary journey from humble beginnings 87 years ago on a small Virginia farm to the heights of business and political accomplishments. Self-taught in ham radio operations, he graduated from Prospect High School in 1935 and joined the merchant marines as a radio officer at 17. Leaving the service at 19, he joined WCSC, a radio station in Charleston, South Carolina, becoming the youngest chief radio station engineer in the country. At 21, he convinced a group of investors in Augusta, Georgia to back him in a new radio station and became its manager and part owner. He established Augusta's first television station, WJBF, in 1951. Over the next 65 years, he used his financial skills to build a fortune. For many years, he was the Chairman of Fuqua Industries, a New York Stock Exchange company that at one time was one of the nation's largest conglomerates. Business was not his only interest. J. B. served four terms in the Georgia Legislature from 1957 to 1964. He was Chairman of the Democratic Party from 1962 to 1966 and played an instrumental role in the election of Carl Sanders as Georgia's Governor in 1962. He believed deeply in public service and his savvy political instincts were greatly admired. He was one of Lyndon Johnson's closest friends and has served on the Board of the LBJ Foundation for many years. His presidential relationships spanned over forty years, especially with Presidents Ford, Carter and Clinton. J. B. was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He has honorary doctorates from ten colleges anduniversities, including Hampden-Sydney, Duke University, Mercer University and Oglethorpe to name a few. As a broadcasting pioneer he received Georgia's 'Broadcast Citizen of the Year' in 1963. In 1984, he received the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Award. Among his other honors, he received the Shining Light Award from Atlanta Gas Light and WSB in 2000 and was inducted into Junior Achievement's National Business Hall of Fame and Junior Achievement of Georgia's Atlanta Business Hall of Fame in 2002. Perhaps J. B. Fuqua's greatest legacy has been his philanthropy. In 1999 he was recognized as one of 'The Hundred Most Generous Americans' by Worth Magazine. In 1989 he was recognized as 'Philanthropist of the Year' by the Georgia Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, then in 1993 he was awarded the 'Philanthropist of the Year' by the National Association of Fund Raising Executives. His philanthropy has included Duke University's School of Business, The Fuqua Heart Center at Piedmont Hospital, The Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression at Emory, The Atlanta Botanical Garden and Atlanta Union Mission. His giving has touched thousands of lives during his lifetime. He often measured his success not on how much he made but how much he was able to give away. Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 8th at 11:00 am at Northwest Presbyterian Church, 4300 Northside Drive, Atlanta, Georgia. Reverend Randy Calvo will officiate. There will be a graveside service at Westover Memorial Park in Augusta, Georgia on Monday afternoon, time to be determined. He was devoted to his loving wife of sixty-one years, Dorothy Chapman Fuqua, who survives him and who was his partner in politics, philanthropy and all his endeavors. He is also survived by his son J. Rex Fuqua, daughter-in-law Duvall Schultz Fuqua, and grandchildren, Jennifer Fuqua Fowler, Lauren Brooks Fuqua, Ruth Duvall Fuqua, John Rex Fuqua, Frances Hattaway Fuqua, and Dorothy Isabel Fuqua. Mr. Fuqua was predeceased by his son, Alan Brooks Fuqua who died in 1971. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Fuqua Heart Center at Piedmont Hospital, 1968 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30309 and The Fuqua Center for Late Life Depression at Emory University, 1440 Clifton Road, NE, Suite 112, Atlanta, GA 30322. Arrangements by H. M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill Chapel, 1020 Spring Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-876-1022. Sign the guestbook at AugustaChronicle.com

The Augusta Chronicle-April 7, 2006