William Rushton III

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William James "Billy" Rushton III (born April 23, 1929) was CEO of the Protective Life Corporation from 1969 to 1992.

Rushton is the son of Colonel William Rushton Jr and Elizabeth Perry Rushton. He graduated from Princeton University in 1951 with a bachelor of arts in mathematics. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves and served as an artillery observer during the Korean War, where he was awarded a Bronze Star and promoted to Captain.

After his discharge Rushton worked in the actuarial departments of the Prudential Insurance Company of New Jersey and later at Protective Life in Birmingham. In 1958 he moved over to the sales department. He was elected a vice president of the company in 1962, president in 1967 and CEO in 1969. As CEO, Rushton oversaw the expansion of the company into all 50 U.S. states. In 1976 he moved the company moved out of its downtown headquarters to a new building in Mountain Brook's Office Park. Later the company began building a corporate campus in a 28-acre site on Highway 280. Rushton turned the company over to Drayton Nabers Jr in 1992.

Rushton also served on a number of other corporate boards, including Alabama Power Company, Avondale Mills, AmSouth Bank, Moore & Handley and the Southern Research Institute. He also served as a trustee of Birmingham-Southern College and on the board of visitors for the University of Alabama College of Commerce. Rushton chaired the Birmingham Community Chest United Appeal in 1977 and served on the boards of Children's Hospital, the Industrial Health Council, the Birmingham Council of Social Agencies, United Way, the Birmingham Baptist Hospital Foundation, and the Meyer Foundation.

Rushton married the former LaVona Price on August 19, 1955 and had three sons, William IV, Deakins, and Tunstall. He was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 1979.

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