Alabama Academy of Honor


Henry Calvin Goodrich

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1984, 2002 and 2011.



Henry C. Goodrich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SONAT, Incorporated, Alabama's largest corporation, was born April 24, 1920, in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

Upon graduation from high school in Fayetteville, he entered Erskine College and Seminary, Due West, South Carolina, and later attended the University of Tennessee where in 1943 he received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering.

Upon discharge from the United States Navy Engineer Corps in World War II, he accepted a position with Rust Engineering Company in Birmingham. After a steady rise in this firm he accepted the top managerial position with Inland Container Corporation in Indiana.

Mr. Goodrich returned to Birmingham in 1980 to accept the position of SONAT's (then Southern Natural Resources, Inc.) chief executive officer. The growth and character of this large firm under his leadership speaks for itself.

The demand of his time at SONAT did not prevent him from acceding to the demands of his talents from other business enterprises. He was on the Board of Directors of Time, Inc., Ball Corporation, Protective Life Insurance Company, Inland Steel Company and Protective Corporation. He also was a co-founder of BE&K, Inc., was an Emeritus Director of both BE&K and COUSINS Properties of Atlanta.

His civic participation in the Boy Scouts of America movement, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Southern Research Institute is well known. He was a member of the Rotary Club and the Newcomen Society of North America.

Mr. Goodrich was a firm supporter of all phases of education, as was evident by his active support of the University of Alabama in Birmingham where he served as a member of the President's Council. He was a member of the Advisory Board of the Alabama Health Services Foundation, UAB; and a member of the University of Tennessee's Development Council. He served as a trustee of the Indian Springs School, Hanover College and the Christian Theological Seminary.

Mr. Goodrich was a member and trustee of the South Highland Presbyterian Church.

He is listed in Who's Who in America.

On September 10, 1943, he married Billie Grace Walker and they had three children: Thomas Michael, William Walker, and Sydney Lee Goodrich Green.

Henry C. Goodrich passed away on December 11, 2011.