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James A. Ryder

AKA James Arthur Ryder

Born: 28-Jul-1913
Birthplace: Columbus, OH
Died: 25-Mar-1997
Location of death: Coral Gables, FL
Cause of death: Stroke

Gender: Male
Religion: Congregationalist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Ryder System

With a $125 down-payment, James A. Ryder purchased a two-year-old Ford Model A in 1933 and began hauling trash and construction materials. The next year his brother Ralph joined the business, bringing his 1934 Ford V-8 and doubling the fleet, and a third brother, Harry, signed on as the company's first mechanic. By 1937 Ryder had 15 trucks, by 1949 revenues exceeded $1M annually, and in 1960 the company went public. In 1962 the company sold its hauling business, Ryder Truck Lines, to concentrate on truck leasing, but by the late 1970s the company's fortunes had faltered, and Ryder was forced out as the company's President. He became Chairman of the Board, but chaffed at the decisions of his successor, M. Anthony Burns, and resigned within months to start a new trucking firm, Jartran. His new company was bankrupt within four years, after burning through Ryder's $20M investment, leaving its founder with little more than his house. In the mid-1990s, after media accounts of James Ryder's financial difficulties, Ryder Systems restored the $100,000-per-year pension he had forfeited by starting a competing firm. He died in 1997.

Father: Harry F. Ryder
Mother: Anna Bennett Ryder
Brother: Ralph Bennett Ryder (Ryder executive, b. circa 1911, d. 2001)
Brother: Harold Ryder ("Harry", Ryder executive, d. 1959)
Wife: Jane Mayhall Sharpe Ryder Harrison (b. 29-Feb-1920, m. 19-Feb-1940, div.)
Son: James Arthur Ryder, Jr. (b. 19-Sep-1940)
Son: Jonathan Sharpe Ryder (b. 1-Aug-1948, d. 15-Jun-1975)
Wife: Diane Miller Ryder (4th wife)

    High School: Edison Senior High, Miami, FL

    Jartran Founder & President (1979-83)
    Ryder Founder (1933) & President (1937-79)
    Member of the Board of Ryder Chairman (1978)
    Stroke 25-Mar-1997 (fatal)


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