Frank Samford Jr

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Frank Park Samford Jr (born January 29, 1921 in Montgomery, died 1986) was president of Liberty National Life Insurance Company from 1960-83, Chief Executive Officer from 1967, and Chairman of the Board from 1973-80. During his tenure he oversaw the creation of Torchmark Corporation as a holding company for Liberty National and other acquisitions made by the company.

Samford was the son of Frank P. Samford and Hattie Mae Noland and great-grandson of Alabama Governor William J. Samford. With his wife Virginia Carolyn Suydam (married May 27, 1942) he had four children; Frank P. Samford III, Laura Samford Armitage, John S. P. Samford and Mae Samford Robertson.

Samford attended Auburn University and Yale University, graduating in 1942 with a Bachelor of Arts. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega at Auburn and of the Elizabethan Club at Yale, where he also chaired the Conservative Party in the Yale Political Union and joined Berzelius, a senior secret society. During World War II, Samford served in the U.S. Navy in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific theatres. He then entered law school at the University of Alabama and graduated first in his 1947 class. He served as President of the Alabama chapter of Phi Delta Phi.

At Liberty National, Samford started as a securities analyst in 1947 and rose quickly through the ranks to assume the Presidency in 1960.

Samford also served on the boards of Birmingham Trust National Bank, Golden Enterprises, South Central Bell, Southern Company, Saunders Leasing System, Alabama Great Southern Railroad, and the Birmingham Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

His charitable board positions included the $50 Million City Bond Campaign, Shades Valley YMCA, Alabama Safety Council, the Alabama U.S.O., Jefferson County Community Chest, Jefferson County Heart Fund, Alabama Heart Fund, the Kidney Foundation of Alabama and chaired the campaign to raise $1.5 million for the Alabama Kidney Center at the University of Alabama Medical Center. In the early 1970s he served on the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board.

He served as president of the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities from 1968-69 and served on the board of trustees for the University of Montevallo, Auburn University, and Indian Springs School. He was a charter member and director on the Board of the Alabama Business Hall of Fame. He was also an active member of the Independent Presbyterian Church, the Rotary Club of Birmingham, the Country Club of Birmingham, and the Mountain Brook Country Club. He was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 1980.

Samford established the Samford Fellowship which is given to elite chess players to assist in their training and living expenses. It is administered by the U. S. Chess Trust.