|Birth: ||May 5, 1913|
|Death: ||Sep. 20, 2010|
Palm Beach County
Claude Maclary Blair, retired chairman of National City Bank and former president of Ohio Bell, died on Monday, Sept. 20, 2010, in Palm Beach. He was 97.
Mr. Blair was born May 5, 1913, in Columbia, Tenn.
He moved with his family to West Palm Beach when he was 12.
He graduated from Palm Beach High School, where he was student body president, in 1930.
After graduation, he went to work for American Telephone and Telegraph in West Palm Beach.
In 1940, he was a 1st lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps and commanded a construction battalion that strung telephone lines across the Isthmus of Panama. Later, as a captain, he commanded the Signal Corps Board at Fort Monmouth, N.J., until earning an honorable discharge with the rank of major in 1945.
Mr. Blair returned to work for AT&T Long Lines in Atlanta.
Going to school at night, he earned his law degree from The Atlanta Law School and passed the Georgia bar exam in 1949.
In 1951, he was called to active duty in the Korean War and was the senior tact officer at the Office Candidate School at Fort Monmouth.
During this time, Mr. Blair and his wife, Rose, appeared on the network television show Break the Bank and won $7,300.
In 1953, Mr. Blair began working for AT&T in New York. He earned promotions with AT&T that included vice president in charge of the Telstar Satellite program, which was the world's first commercial communications satellite when it launched in 1962. He was the operating officer of several Bell telephone companies, including Mountain States Bell.
He became president of Ohio Bell in 1963 and then chairman of Pacific Northwest Bell in 1965.
In 1967, Mr. Blair became chairman and CEO of National City Bank in Cleveland. He retired from the bank in 1980 but continued to serve as an honorary director for several years.
He served on boards of directors of Greater Cleveland Growth Association, where he served as president; Case Western Reserve University, vice chairman; University Circle, vice chairman; The Cleveland Orchestra, vice president; St. Luke's Hospital, vice president; and the Murphy Foundation.
He also served on the board of directors for corporations, including Clevite, Gould, Cardinal American, J.M. Smucker, Revco, Midland Ross, RPM, Sifco and Medical Mutual.
He received the Business Statesman of the Year Award in 1976 from the Harvard Business School.
In 1965, Mr. Blair played golf with Arnold Palmer and they won the Pro-Am Tournament of the Cleveland Open.
Mr. Blair returned to Palm Beach after his retirement from National City Bank in 1980.
He was a member of the Everglades Club and the Bath and Tennis Club, as well as a member of the Rolling Rock, Ligonier, Pa.; and the Pepper Pike Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio. He also was a member of the vestry of The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea.
In addition to his wife Rose of 65 years, he is survived by a son, Randall; and two daughters, Julie Blair and Peggy Moreland.
He was predeceased by a daughter, Barbara McCallum, and his twin brothers, Jack and Earl Blair.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Bethesda.
A private inurnment in the columbarium will take place beforehand for family members.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, 141 S. County Road, FL 33480.
Quattlebaum Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Published in the Palm Beach Daily News, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010
Barbara A Blair McCallum (1948 - 1988)*
Bethesda Episcopal Church by the Sea Columbarium
Palm Beach County
Created by: Martin Weybright
Record added: Apr 13, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 108410804