Alabama Academy of Honor


Joseph Lamar Lanier

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1983.



Joseph Lamar Lanier, textile manufacturer, was born February 12, 1906, in Jackson, Georgia. He earned the B.S. degree in the School of Commerce, Washington and Lee University in 1927. He attended Lowell Textile Institute, Lowell, Massachusetts, and Harvard Business School, Boston.

He began working for West Point Manufacturing Company in 1927 and became assistant treasurer in 1939. He was appointed assistant treasurer of Dixie Mills in 1939 and assistant treasurer of Lanett Bleachery and Dye Works in 1941. He was named president of the West Point Manufacturing Company in 1951; Dixie Mills, 1952; Columbus Mill, 1952; Wellington Sears Company, 1954; and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, West Point-Pepperell Inc., 1965. He retired as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1971.

He was a director of several enterprises: Western Railway of Alabama; Atlanta and West Point Railroad Company, First National Bank, Atlanta; and Liberty National Life Insurance Company.

He was associated with several professional organizations: Alabama Textile Manufacturers Assn., Associated Industries of Alabama; American Textile Manufacturers Institute, and the Alabama Chamber of Commerce.

He was involved with numerous public service activities: Boy Scouts of America, County-Valley Library Foundation, Valley, Alabama; the Lurleen B. Wallace Cancer Hospital Fund; and the National Safety Council.

He served as a trustee of the National Safety Council, Washington and Lee University, LaGrange College, Institute of Textile Technology, Charlottesville, Virginia, and Walter F. George School of Law Foundation.

He received many honors: Medal of Freedom Award by direction of President Harry Truman, Liberty Bell Award, and the Silver Beaver Award by the Boy Scouts of America.

He was awarded the Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws by LaGrange College, June 6, 1971. He is listed in Who's Who in America.

He married Lura Brown Fowlkes on February 17, 1931, and they have three children: Joseph Jr., Lure (Lanier) Edge, and Anne (Lanier) Pearce. Joseph Lamar Lanier died in November 2000.