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BIRTHPLACE: HADDON HEIGHTS, NJ
PARTY AFFILIATION: REPUBLICAN
NATIONALITY: UNITED STATES
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: FOUNDER OF SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Herbert Kelleher was the youngest child in the close-knit family of Harry and Ruth Kelleher
in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, near Camden. As a boy Kelleher worked after school and on
summer breaks at the Campbell's Soup factory where his father was a general manager.
During his six years there Kelleher served as soup chef, warehouse foreman, and part-time
analyst. Kelleher's family splintered apart during World War II: Kelleher's brother Harry
joined the Navy; his sister Ruth went to work in New York; his older brother, Richard, was
killed in combat in 1942; and in 1943 his father also died.
As the last child at home, Kelleher formed a special bond with his mother, who became the
biggest influence on his developing work ethic. The two sat in the kitchen until the wee hours
of the morning discussing business, politics, and ethics. Ruth Kelleher was a working middle-
class Irishwoman who instilled in her children the importance of treating people with respect.
She taught them to be egalitarian and to judge on merit rather than appearance. Kelleher soon
discovered how right she was, as he told Fortune magazine:
"There was this very dignified gentleman in our neighborhood, the president of a local
savings and loan, who used to stroll along in a very regal way up until he was indicted and
convicted of embezzlement. My mother said that positions and titles signify absolutely
nothing. They're just adornments; they don't represent the substance of anybody".
Kelleher was a good student at Haddon Heights High School as well as president of the junior
class, captain of the football team, and a letterman in basketball and track. In addition to
becoming a branch manager for the Philadelphia Bulletin for a wage of $2.50 an hour,
Kelleher mowed lawns for several neighbors.
Kelleher attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he was an Olin
Scholar and graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy in 1953.
At college he began dating the Texas native Joan Negley, whom he had met on a blind date.
Kelleher originally intended to pursue a career in journalism, but a Wesleyan trustee took the
young man under his wing and persuaded him to try a career in law.
Kelleher was accepted to New York University Law School, where he was a Root-Tilden
Scholar. Hard-working and fun loving even as a young man, Kelleher earned a coveted spot
on the university's law review while also enjoying the Greenwich Village scene. He described
these years to Fortune :
"I had a little apartment on Washington Square, and you could just open your door and
entertaining people would walk in and you'd have an instant party".
Kelleher married Joan Negley in 1955 and earned his law degree in 1956. The following year
he was admitted to the New Jersey State Bar and worked two years in the prestigious position
of law clerk for a New Jersey Supreme Court Justice. In 1959 he joined the Newark, New
Jersey, firm of Lum, Biunno and Tompkins, where he practiced law for two years.
Through visits to the Negley family in Texas during this time, Kelleher and his wife became
increasingly attracted to the lifestyle and opportunities available there. They decided to
relocate to San Antonio, where Kelleher became a partner in the law firm of Matthews,
Nowlin, Macfarlane & Barrett in 1961. Within a few years he became restless with his career
and began seeking a new challenge. One evening, a discussion over drinks with a client, an
air charter service owner, led to the opportunity for Kelleher to combine his practice of law
with the adventure of starting a new business.
BIRTH OF SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
After moving to Texas, Kelleher started his law firm and had a few clients at the time. One of
his clients was Texas business man (who became co-founder of Southwest), Rollin King.
Over 37 years ago, King described a new kind of airline’s concept to Kelleher over dinner by
drawing on a paper napkin. King’s idea was:
“if you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the
lowest possible fares and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your
Kelleher liked his idea and decided to help him to start the new airline. In addition, they got
together to make some of paradoxical airline management at that time such as offering low
fares by eliminating unnecessary services, point-to-point route scheduling system and using
secondary airports by avoiding traffic congestion and competition with major carriers.
At this time, it was just a few years before constituting the Airline Deregulation of Act of
1978 in the U.S., large carriers dominated their routes and fares were controlled by the
government board. You can see how great their idea was foresight; because nobody thought
the rules would be changed. Some of incumbent carriers such as Braniff, Trans-Texas and
Continental Airlines began to legal actions, in order to keep Air Southwest on the ground for
three years. However, Southwest eventually won in the Texas Supreme Court and the most
unique airline got a legal right to fly in 1971.
Southwest Airlines founder Herb used many of the airline’s ideas to form the corporate
culture at Southwest, and even on early flights used the same "Long Legs And Short Nights"
theme for stewardesses on board typical Southwest Airlines flights. The original flight
attendants that worked for Southwest Airlines were chosen by a committee of individuals that
included the same person who had selected hostess for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy jet. The
selection resulted in a group of female flight attendants that were described as long-legged
dancers, majorettes, and cheerleaders with "unique personalities". Southwest Airlines and
Herb Kelleher proceeded to dress these individuals in hot pants and go-go boots.
LEADERSHIP AT SOUTHWEST
In the airline industry, we can say that an outcome of success depends on creating a good
quality of financial intelligent and leadership by top management in an organization.
Herb Kelleher is often described as a charismatic leader or an ideal role model for CEO. His
leadership consistently contributed to building Southwest’s reputation by inspiring his
employees for delivering a high quality of customer service. Also, he often used to get on
aircraft and serve his customers by himself and entertain them in the cabin. In general, we
assume that CEO works in his office or attends meetings, but Kelleher was devoted to work
with his employees whenever he had a time, because he love to serve customers and love his
employees and praise them with respect. As a result, the airline’s employees are motivated to
perform high productivity in their jobs; therefore the airline maintains excellent customer
satisfaction and the least customer complaints in top ratings in the U.S.
His outstanding leadership is not only coming from caring people, but he used unique ideas to
build the airline management and its corporate culture. For example, in 1972, passengers had
to transfer Houston’s Hobby Airport from Houston intercontinental in all Houston service.
Kelleher suggested "why should our Customers have to drive 45 minutes to take a 40-minute
flight?” Then, Southwest created ‘Ten-Minutes Turn’ strategy. This notion solved the
inconvenient transfer problem and quick turns increased operation productivity, which
becomes one of the key components as a low-cost model.
Kelleher also brought some of the unique methods to create its corporate culture. For
example, female flight attendants dressed in hot pants and go-go boots or costumed like long-
legged dancers, majorettes, and cheerleaders, those who serve customers and sing a
Southwest Airlines’ song in cabin. This is something special about Southwest. He aimed to
create ‘fun flight’ and intangible service that other airlines cannot imitate.
Furthermore, Kelleher emphasizes his famous phrases “people come first” and “everybody is
a leader no matter what their job is”, which means employees are the most valuable asset at
Southwest. But, what kind of person does he want to recruit? In Business Weekinterview
(2003), Kelleher said that they want someone who is not a self-centered person, but must
have ‘humble attitude’ and ‘business smarts’ for work. The main reason is new freshman
must learn a lot of things such as handling and serving customers, the most importantly, they
should love what they are doing for customers. Of course, Southwest hires business graduates
with MBA degrees, but they also recruit someone with less education, less experience, less
expertise if he/she has the quality of personality that the airline wants.
Another thing is Kelleher applied the first profit sharing plan to Southwest in the U.S airline
industry. Employees own 10 percent of the company stock, but it turns out an excellent plan.
The employees are more motivated to work hard for their airline and their customers, because
they are the shareholders and they earn more salary if more customers are satisfied to fly.
Over the last three decades in his career at Southwest, Kelleher achieved numerous titles and
success in the commercial airline industry. On 21 May, 2008, he finally decided to step down
his present post as Chairman and resigned from the board of directors, but remains as a full
time employee for another five years.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL
o Man of the Year Award, Reno Air Race Association (2009)
o Higher Power Values Award, Higher Power Aviation (2009)
o Steve Fossett Innovation Award (March 2009)
o Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Public Service Medal (January 2009)
o The Transport Workers Union National President Jim Little announced on behalf of local
TWU 550, 555 and 556 that, in an unprecedented action, Herb Kelleher was now an
honorary lifetime member of the TWU "In grateful appreciation for [his] unparalleled
Leadership in creating a magnificent airline and a generation of Employees who love
coming to work." (December 2008)
o Inducted in to the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine, Wright Brothers National Memorial
o National Aviation Hall of Fame (2008)
o Transportation Research Forum President’s Award (2008)
o Global Services Leader of the Year Award (2005)
o Airline Business Award (2005)
o One of history’s top three CEO’s by Chief Executive Magazine (2005)
o L. Welch Pogue Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aviation, Aviation Week (2005)
o 25 Most Influential Business Leaders (2004)
o Top 100 Stars in Aerospace, Aviation Week (2003)
o Bower Award for Business Leadership from the Franklin Institute (2003)
o U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Leadership Hall of Fame (2002)
o San Diego Aerospace Hall of Fame (2002)
o Morningstar CEO of the Year Award (2001)
o One of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Business Travel Industry, Business
Travel News (2001)
o Travel Agent’s 2001 Airlines Winner’s Circle (2001)
o Top 25 Managers of the Year (2001)
o People of the Year,Travel Agent Magazine (2000)
o Soaring Eagle Award, Board of Port Commissioners and Executive Director of Port of
o Entrepreneur of the Year (2000)
o Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy (2000)
o Readers Choice Quest for Quality Award, Logistics Management and Distribution Report
Magazine (1999 and 2000)
o One of the Most Admired Companies in America (6 of 10): Fortune Magazine (1999)
o CEO of the Year, Chief Executive magazine (1999)
o CEO of the Century, Texas Monthly magazine (1999)
o American Society of Safety Engineers (Honorary Member–1999)
o One of “Most Trusted” U.S. companies, Marketing Management magazine (1999)
o Most Admired Companies in the World (No. 13), Fortune Magazine (1998)
o Airlines Person of the Year, Travel Agent Magazine (1998)
o Induction into the National Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame-National Alliance of Sales &
Marketing Executives (1998)
o Executive of the Year: University of Arizona (1998)
o The Best Company to Work for in America (No. 1): Fortune Magazine (1998)
o One of the Most Admired Companies in America (1 of 10): Fortune Magazine (1998)
o The Most Admired Airline in America (No. 1): Fortune Magazine (1994-1998)
o National Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame (1998)
o Chilton Co.’s Quest of Quality-transportation industry award (1997)
o The 431 Best-America’s Most Admired Companies (No. 45): Fortune Magazine (1997)
o 16th Annual Patterson Transportation Lecture, Northwestern University (1997)
o Golden Eagle Award: Senior Aerospace Executives (1997)
o DKE President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement (1997)
o “People of the Year” Winners Circle Travel Agent Magazine (1997)
o PGE Award of “Families in Good Company” (1997)
o Most Consumer-Friendly Airline:Consumer Reports Travel Letter (1997)
o Annual Business Leadership Award University of Michigan School of Business (1997)
o Philip Crosby Award for National Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership: University
of Tulsa (1997)
o Wings Club Distinguished Achievement Award (1997)
o Airport Consultants Council Aviation Award of Excellence (1996)
o Golden Plate Award: American Academy of Achievement (1996)
o Outstanding Business Leader Award: Northwood University (1996)
o Spirit of St. Louis Award: St. Louis Chamber of Commerce & Growth Association
o Silver Place Award: Lodging Hospitality (1995)
o One of three “Most Influential Executives” in travel industry: Tour and Travel
o 1995 Quality Carrier: Distribution Magazine
o One of America’s Most Admired CEO’s: Industry Week Magazine (1995)
o “Is Herb Kelleher America’s Best CEO?”: Fortune Magazine (1994-95)
o One of “People of the Year”:Travel Agent Magazine (1994-95)
STATE AND LOCAL
• Texas Lutheran University Excellence in Leadership Award (2009)
• History Making Texan Award (2007)
• Induction into the Texas Labor Management Hall of Fame (2006)
• Herbert D. Kelleher Servant Leader Scholarship named in Herb’s honor by the Austin
Business Travel Association (2006)
• Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey (1999)
• Spirit of Generations Award, Senior Citizens of Greater Dallas (1999)
• Junior Achievement’s Dallas Business Hall of Fame (1999)
• Distinguished President Award, Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter, American Women in Radio
and Television (1999)
• Access Award, Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities (1999)
• Texas Aviation Hall of Fame (1998)
• Excellence in Entrepreneurial Leadership, Harvard Business School Association of
Southeastern New England (1998)
• The Dallas Area Distinguished Leader Award: Texas Association of Business and
Chambers of Commerce (1998)
• Business of the Year Award: The BWI Business Partnership, Inc. (1998)
• Community Award, Southwest Alliance for the Mentally Ill (1998)
• Al Lipscomb State Fair Classic Community Service Award (1998)
• Legendary Leader, Legends of Texas Bridge: Georgetown, Texas (1997)
• Citizen of the Year: Southwest Community Congress (Chicago) (1997)
• Best Domestic Airline: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (1997)
• Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas (first
local resident in 14 years) (1996)
• Industry of the Year Award: Houston Chamber of Commerce (1996)
• Best Boss; Best Luncheon Speaker; and Best Company to Work for: Dallas Business
• Leon Tolle Memorial Award: San Antonio Chapter of American Marketing Assn. (1995)
• Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor (first out-of-state inductee) 1995)
• Governor’s Tourism Development Award: Nevada (1995)
• Headliner of the Year: Gridiron Show, Press Club of Dallas (1995)
• Circle of Love Award: New Orleans Ronald McDonald House (1995)
• Barbara Jordan Award: Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (1995)
• Contribution to Aviation Award: Texas Dept. of Transportation (1995)
• Dallas Federal Reserve Board of Directors, 2007-present; (Deputy Chairman, 2009)
• National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Board Member, October 2006-present
• Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), Energy Securing Leadership Council
Member, August 2006-present
• Homeland Security Advisory Council Member (HSAC), 2003-April 2009
• Southwest Airlines Co.—Founder and Chairman Emeritus, July 2008-present
• Southwest Airlines Co.—Executive Chairman, September 2004-July 2008
• Southwest Airlines Co.—Chairman of the Board, August 1978-September 2004
• Southwest Airlines Co.—President and CEO, September 1981-June 2001
• Southwest Airlines Co.—Interim President and CEO, March-August 1978
• Southwest Airlines Co.—Secretary from inception to March 1978
• Southwest Airlines Co.—Cofounder, Director, and General Counsel, from inception
(1967) to 1978
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RACE OR ETHNICITY:
NATIONALITY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: FOUNDER OF HALLMARK CARDS
In 1910, at the age of 18, Hallmark cards founder Joyce Clyde "J.C." Hall packed two
shoeboxes with imported postcards and headed to Kansas City, Missouri. He soon realized
the increasing popularity of quality greeting cards and with brother Rollie began selling
Christmas cards with the Hallmark label in 1913. Hall Brothers Inc., as Hallmark was known
until 1954, was born.
J.C. Hall personally selected and approved thousands of greeting card messages as Hallmark
President. Reportedly, his personal favorite was, "I'd like to be the kind of friend that you've
been to me." Always emphasizing quality, Hall also picked the timeless Hallmark slogan,
"When you care enough to send the very best," back in the 1940s.
Though J.C. Hall became a wealthy man, profit was never foremost in his thoughts. In his
autobiography, When You Care Enough, Hall wrote: "If a man goes into business with only
the idea of making a lot of money, chances are he won't. But if he puts service and quality
first, the money will take care of itself. Producing a first-class product that is a real need is a
much stronger motivation for success than getting rich."
Hall never lost his plain-spoken, common sense, man-of-the-plains touch, despite being:
Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire; holder of the French Legion of
Honor; winner of the Eisenhower Medallion; first-name intimate of Winston Churchill,
Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman; winner of the first Emmy ever awarded to a
television sponsor; recipient of plaques, scrolls and honorary degrees, and the Horatio Alger
BUSINESS LIFE IN DETAIL:
By 1913, J.C. Hall's mail-order postcard business had expanded tremendously. He hired an
employee and Rollie, Marie, and his mother moved to Kansas City to join him. Rollie and
J.C. went into another partnership and formed Hall Brothers. In addition to the postcards,
they began selling greeting cards with their own label in 1913. Rollie and J.C. expanded their
product line to include Valentine greetings that year.
Topping off a year of financial difficulties, a 1915 fire destroyed the Hall Brothers' inventory,
plunging them $17,000 into debt. Then, J.C. and Rollie's largest supplier of greeting cards
terminated their contract just before the 1915 Christmas season, forcing the brothers to supply
their own greeting cards. This led them to realize that there was demand in the market for
more attractive, personalized greeting cards than those sold at that time. In 1916, J.C. and
Rollie purchased a small engraving plant. They began manufacturing greeting cards using the
name Hall Brothers Paper Craft and a new American industry was born: sentiment for all
The business grew and received an immense boost from World War I, as Midwesterners
eagerly purchased "missing you" and other greetings to send to soldiers overseas. By the
early twenties, Hall Brothers had opened specialty shops in Kansas City and Chicago and
William had rejoined J.C. and Rollie in the family business. In 1922, Hall Brothers had a staff
of 120 people and created their first logo, a torch and shield. That year, they marketed
Rollie's idea of using fancy wrappings on gift packages. This brought the growing business
many large retail store accounts, paving the way for their next expansion. Hall Brothers
Company Inc. was incorporated on June 11, 1923 as the company entered the national
greeting card market. Just one year later, the company's "Hallmark" cards had earned it a
As Hall Brothers continued its national expansion, Joyce Hall continued his visionary product
development. After noticing that store greeting card displays were often concealed,
unattractive, and unorganized, J.C. developed the Eye-Vision Display Fixture. This greeting
card display, which has evolved into today's greeting card display with some modification,
boosted sales of the Hallmark cards tremendously. J.C. began a large advertising campaign in
the late 1920s, heightening name recognition and sales of Hallmark cards.
The Great Depression impacted Hall Brothers in much the same way as it did the rest of the
country. Despite dwindling sales and fiscal losses, J.C. resisted implementing layoffs. Twice,
Hall Brothers' employees voted for 10 percent pay cuts to avoid any layoffs. As
economic prosperity returned to the company and the country, full pay was restored. Even
during the Depression, J.C. Hall worked to expand Hall Brothers' market and product line. In
1931, Hall Brothers developed an international foothold, taking on the W.E. Coutts Company
of Canada as an affiliate. Hall Brothers was the first company to use Walt Disney characters
on greeting cards. In 1933, the Three Little Pigs were featured on a Hallmark card.
Growth continued through the 1930s. In 1936, Hall Brothers moved to a six-story, million-
dollar facility in Kansas City and by 1937, the firm employed over 950 workers. Determined
to continue his company's constant expansion, Joyce Hall pioneered using radio advertising
for greeting cards. At his insistence, Hall Brothers sponsored many radio programs,
beginning with the popular "Tony Won's Radio Show" in the late 1930s. The firm sponsored
many other programs, including the wartime "Meet Your Navy," the Hallmark Radio
Readers' Digest, and the Hallmark Playhouse.
In the 1940s, World War II provided additional growth for the Hall Brothers, as a nationwide
market rushed to purchase greeting cards for soldiers. Hall Brothers even avoided rationing,
to which other businesses were subject during the war. J.C. Hall convinced the government
that greeting cards boosted national morale. It was during the 1940s that Joyce Hall selected
"When you care enough to send the very best" as the company's slogan and the five-point
crown replaced the torch and shield as Hallmark's emblem. Hall Brothers introduced the first
greeting cards featuring the work of Grandma Moses and Norman Rockwell, as well as
Christmas cards with the works of great masters. The 1940s included further expansion as
three new facilities opened and the company approached production of one million greeting
cards per day.
By 1953, Hall Brothers Inc. had long surpassed the one million card milestone, producing
about 1.5 million greeting cards daily. It added Sir Winston Churchill to its list of notable
card artists and employed about 150 in-house artists. In 1954, Hall Brothers Company, Inc.
became Hallmark Cards, Inc. During the 1950s, J.C. Hall implemented many programs to
benefit his predominantly female workforce, including low-cost nutritional lunches, group
discussions, income tax counseling, and a personal service department. Hall also extended his
media advertising during the 1950s, building on the success of his radio advertising. In 1951,
the first Hallmark Hall of Fame television program was aired, Ahmal and the Night Visitors.
It was the first network-sponsored program to be aired in color and the first opera written for
In 1956, J.C. Hall came up with yet another visionary idea, an employee profit-sharing plan.
To encourage Hallmarkers (as company employees are called) in their work, he decided to
share the company's profits with them. The profit sharing plan has been a significant
employee benefit ever since. In the late 1970s, the plan began buying Hallmark stock. Joyce
Hall never offered shares of Hallmark for sale to the public, despite advice to do so. Today,
Hallmark is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. The employee
profit-sharing plan owns one-third of Hallmark; that share was estimated in 1993 to be worth
Joyce Hall's career began to wind down in the 1960s, but not before he tackled another
enterprise retail stores. As Hallmark's product line expanded, Hall decided to open a
showcase store in New York City. The Halls store opening on Country Club Plaza in 1965.
Joyce Clyde Hall retired as Hallmark president and chief executive in 1966, turning the reins
over to his only son, Donald Joyce Hall. He retained his position as Chairman of the Board
until his death in 1982.
INSTINCT AND DETERMINATION:
In his own bailiwick, Hall had the Midas touch. Maybe it was intuition. Maybe it was timing.
But whatever it was, it worked.
In the 1920s he wanted to substitute the phrase, "A Hallmark Card," for "Hall Brothers
Company" on the back of greeting cards. "Everybody in the place was against it," he said, but
he made the change.
Later, when everybody told him advertising was a waste of money, he advertised, and
established Hallmark as the most recognizable brand name in the industry.
He was warned against sponsoring a television show. He decided to do it anyway, and
sponsored a live production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, That broadcast launched what
would become the "Hallmark Hall of Fame," which after more than 55 years is television's
most honored and enduring dramatic series.
"Mr. J.C." was Hallmark Cards for 56 years. "Good taste is good business" was his creed.
Until 1966, when he stepped aside as chief executive officer in favor of his son, Donald J.
Hall, no Hallmark greeting card reached the marketplace without his "O.K.J.C." imprimatur.
HELL-BENT ON QUALITY:
Hall never totally retired. Not one to drop out of sight, he continued as chairman of the board
and kept a close watch on quality. "I'm hell-bent on quality," he used to say. Whether buying
or selling, Hall appreciated and demanded value.
In semi-retirement, he spent a part of each summer in Malibu, Calif. But the rest of the year
he put in a day's work just as he had done almost every day of his life since he began selling
perfume door-to-door at age 9.
Joyce C. Hall demanded excellence of him and others, and he got it. Yet he appraised himself
as a man who had achieved success primarily because he had worked harder than others. "I
figured I wasn't as smart as some of the other fellows, so I had to work twice as hard," he
SOCIAL AND ECONOMICIMPACT:
During the Great Depression, Joyce Hall worked hard to develop a plan that would save the
jobs of his employees. He also worked to help the nation return to prosperity. The 1930 Joyce
Hall Prosperity Plan was embraced and promoted by Rotary Clubs throughout the country.
Some newspapers credited Hall and his plan with aiding the country's eventual economic
recovery. The plan encouraged suppliers and customers to buy materials in advance,
providing working capital for companies. According to Hall, his plan allowed people to keep
working and earning wages and to keep the spending cycle going.
J.C. Hall used his greeting cards and his successful business to further the fine arts. The
Hallmark Gallery Artists Christmas cards featured works by great masters, such as
Michaelangelo, da Vinci, and Rembrandt. Hall hoped these cards would bring the art of these
celebrated painters to people who would not ordinarily see them. In 1949, Hall created the
International Hallmark Art Awards, providing funds to artists worldwide and acquiring works
for the Hallmark Fine Arts Collection. J.C. Hall also maintained 38 scholarships for students
at the Kansas City Art Institute.
In 1956, President Dwight David Eisenhower invited Hall and other prominent American
businessmen to the White House for an important discussion. The meeting concerned
establishing an organization to promote world peace. The resulting organization was called
People-to-People. It was an effort involving American citizens dedicated to implementing
mutual understanding, respect, and friendship in the pursuit of peace. J.C. Hall served on the
group's board of directors and was chairman of People-to-People's executive committee.
Joyce Hall was honored with many citations and awards during his life. In 1961, he was the
first sponsor to receive an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and
Sciences. Queen Elizabeth II named him Honorary Commander of the Order of the British
Empire that same year. The Kansas City Chamber of Commerce named him 1961's "Mr.
Kansas City." He served on the Boards of Directors of the Eisenhower Foundation and
People-to-People. In 1971, he was awarded the Eisenhower medal for international
understanding. He was granted a citation from the Midwest Research Institute and the
Distinguished Service Award from the University of Kansas. The National Association of
Greeting Card Publishers recognized his immense contributions to the industry in 1974. He
was elected to Fortune's Hall of Fame for Business Leadership in 1977. J.C. Hall held
honorary degrees from Kansas State University, the University of Missouri, the University of
Nebraska and William Jewel College.
CHRONOLOGY:J. C. HALL:
1905: Invested in Norfolk Postcard Company.
1910: Moved to Kansas City, Missouri to find bigger postcard market.
1913: Distributed greeting cards with the Hall Bros. Logo.
1930: Developed Joyce Hall Prosperity Plan during the Great Depression.
1931: Expanded business to international markets.
1954: Hall Bros. became Hallmark.
1965: Opened Halls, Hallmark's first showcase store in New YorkCity.
1966: Retired and stepped down as Hallmark President and Chief Executive Officer.
In retirement, Hall stayed active. His prize project was the Crown Center Redevelopment
Corporation, a $400-million city-within-a-city development in Kansas City. J.C. Hall hoped
the project would add economic and cultural energy to the downtown area. It was yet another
successful enterprise for J.C. Hall and the ground was broken on the project in 1968. The
office complex opened in 1971 and the retail shops opened in 1973. On a more tragic note,
the Crown Center Redevelopment Corporation owns the Kansas City Hyatt Regency
Hotel, the site of one of the worst American construction failures. Two suspended walkways
in the hotel fell in July 1981, killing 114 and injuring nearly 200 others.
At the time of Joyce Clyde Hall's death in October, 1982, Hallmark was the country's leading
greeting card producer, manufacturing over 8 million greeting cards per day and amassing
sales of over $750 million a year. Hallmark also owned Ambassador Greetings, the country's
number three greeting card company. Hallmark's 20,000 card shops sold those cards, plus
other Hallmark wares: gift-wrap, stuffed animals, birthday candles, many collectibles, and
other products. By 1993, Hallmark employed a creative staff of over 700 employees, a staff
that generates over 24,000 new cards per year. Hallmark has maintained its industry-leading
position with estimated sales of $2.9 billion in 1992.
Joyce C. Hall always put quality first, whether it came to products, customers, or employees.
Because of this, Hall, a high school dropout, was able to build a multibillion-dollar greeting
card empire that diversified into a wide variety of products and services, including residential
and commercial property, art supplies, gift wrap and accessories, and television
programming. In less than one hundred years, Hallmark went from a tiny postcard shop in
Kansas City, Missouri, to the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of greeting cards,
with thousands of retail outlets around the globe and annual sales of $4 billion.
"If a man goes into business with only the idea of making a lot of money, chances are he
won't. But if he puts service and quality first, the money will take care of itself. Producing a
first-class product that is a real need is a much stronger motivation for success than getting
Hall, Joyce C. When You Care Enough. Kansas City, MO: Hallmark Cards, 1993.
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Dictionary of Missouri biography
Searching for literature on Joyce C Hall
Accessed on: [March 12, 2011]
Accessed on: [March 12, 2011]
Accessed on: [March 12, 2011]
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