Alabama Academy of Honor


Eugene C. Gwaltney

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1988.



Eugene C. Gwaltney was a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He continued his academic career with graduate work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Gene Gwaltney served his country in World War II as a major in the United States Army Corps of Engineers from 1941 to 1945.

He had varied and interesting experiences in the textile industry, having been associated with Burlington Mills, Arlind Corporation and Robert and Company before joining Russell Corporation of Alexander City in 1952.

From the time Eugene C. Gwaltney accepted the position of Director, Research and Quality Control with Russell Corporation in 1952, his promotions and his ability to produce have been rapid and consistent. By 1972, he became president and Chief Executive Officer of Russell Corporation and he occupied the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of Russell Corporation at the time of his death.

The textile firm Mr. Gwaltney successfully directed employs 11,000 people with operations in Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Gene Gwaltney, the Russell Corporation and members of the Russell family have been ardent supporters of education. Their generous scholarship programs and their gifts to educational institutions continue to be a source of pride to all who are aware of this benefit.

In addition to his responsibilities with Russell Corporation, Gene Gwaltney was Chairman, Russell Hospital Board of Trustees; Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, First National Bank of Alexander City; Trustee, Tuskegee University; Trustee, Georgia Tech Foundation; Advisor, Business Council of Alabama, Education Policy and Alabama Improvement Program .

Eugene C. Gwaltney was the recipient of M.I.T. Corporate Leadership Award, was selected 1978 Man of the Year of Alexander City, 1982 Textile Man of the Year, New York Board of Trade and 1987 Honoree American Apparel Education Foundation.

Eugene Gwaltney was married to the former Nancy Russell, and they are the parents of two daughters and two sons. They are members of St. James Episcopal Church, Alexander City, Alabama. Eugene Gwaltney died on March 9, 2000.