John W. Black III

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This article is about the auto leasing magnate. For the physician, see John W. Black (physician).

John Wesley Black III (born September 21, 1896 in Athens, Limestone County; died February 1, 1948 in Birmingham) was the founder and president of the Dixie Drive-It-Yourself System chain of auto and truck leasing agencies.

Black was the son of John and Zoe Reed Black of Athens. He grew up in Birmingham and attended Birmingham City Schools. He partnered with Harris Saunders in the Saunders Leasing System before founding his own rival company, which grew to include branches in six Southern states.

Black married the former Ethel Matthews in 1915 and had two children, John IV and Ethel Dora, nicknamed "Dodie".

During World War II Black served as a Peace Officer for the North Alabama District Office of Price Administration.

Black had served on the board of trustees of the Alabama State Fair Association and had began a one-year term as president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce in January 1948. On February 1 he was found dead in a car that had crashed into a utility pole. He was buried at Elmwood Cemetery.


  • "Native Athenian Killed in Birmingham" (February 5, 1948) The Alabama Courier.