EBSCO Industries

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EBSCO Industries is a privately held, widely diversified corporation founded in 1944 by Elton B. Stephens (hence the EBSCO acronym Elton B Stephens COmpany). Its core industries include subscription services to libraries, bibliographic databases, manufacturing of construction and outdoors products, and real estate development. Previously located in the EBSCO Building at 1230 1st Avenue North, the company's current international headquarters are at 5724 U.S. Highway 280 in unincorporated Shelby County.

Company founder Stephens earned money to attend Birmingham-Southern College by selling magazines door-to-door. He soon became a sales manager and began hiring salespeople and sending them across the country to sell magazine subscriptions. In 1936, Stephens earned a law degree from the University of Alabama, but decided that managing the sale of magazines was more profitable than practicing law. In 1944, Stephens formed a partnership with his wife, Alys Robinson Stephens, to sell magazine subscriptions, personalized binders and magazine racks to the U.S. Armed Forces. They named this Military Service Company, and over the next decade acquired several other companies that were eventually combined to form EBSCO Industries.

Stephens was succeeded as president by his son, Elton Stephens Jr. In 2005 the company was turned over to Dixon Brooke Jr, the elder Stephens' son-in-law. When Tim Collins succeeded Brooke as president and CEO in 2014 it marked the first time that the company was led by someone from outside the Stephens family. David Walker succeeded him in September 2017.

In 1997 sales surpassed $1 billion. As of 2006 EBSCO was the largest privately-held company in Alabama and one of the top 200 in the nation, based on $2 billion in revenues and 5,000 employees, according to Forbes Magazine. In 2008 revenues exceeded $2.5 billion.

Chief executives

EBSCO companies


  • Strauch, Katina (1994) "Interview with F. Dixon Brooke Jr" Against the Grain. Vol. 6, No. 5
  • "Special Report: The largest private companies." (November 9, 2006) Forbes
  • "EBSCO Industries" (March 1, 2011) Wikipedia - accessed March 21, 2011
  • Tomberlin, Michael (January 15, 2014) "Brooke to retire as CEO of EBSCO, Collins named successor." The Birmingham News
  • Swain, Sharron (June 28, 2022) "EBSCO Capital + others have moved to the former Biso HQ in the Innovation District." Bham Now

External links