Wynton Malcom Blount helped transform the cultural and industrial landscape of his native state. Blount, known to most as “Red” for his red hair, was born in Union Springs, Alabama, to Wynton Blount, Sr. and Clara Bell Chalker Blount.
Blount was a serious, hardworking and restless youth, eventually choosing a full-time job over college. Joining the Army at the outbreak of World War II, he became a pilot and instructor in Montgomery. During the war, Blount married Mary Katherine Archibald and with her raised five children: Wynton, Thomas, Samuel, Katherine and Joseph.
Trading on experience in their father’s business, Blount and his younger brother, Houston, founded Blount Brothers Corporation in 1946. When the younger brother left the partnership in the 1950s, Blount continued to nurture the business, growing it and eventually moving from construction to manufacturing.
Important government projects and overall business success brought Blount national attention and led to his service as president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is credited with major reform of the U.S. postal system as postmaster general in the cabinet of President Richard Nixon.
Blount’s business success continued after he left government service, and his company garnered international fame through its projects in the Middle East. At the time of its acquisition by Lehman Brothers in 1999, Blount, Inc., was valued at $500 million.
As dedicated as he was to business excellence, Blount is most widely remembered for his patronage of the arts. In addition to his many other contributions, he created the 250-acre Blount Cultural Park, home to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art and the internationally acclaimed Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
Blount married Carolyn Self Varner in 1981 and grew his family by two adult children: Dr. Edward Varner and Carolyn Varner.
A long list of professional and civic awards bears witness to Wynton “Red” Blount’s energy, vision and personal success. He made outstanding contributions to his country and state.