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Joyce C. Hall

AKA Joyce Clyde Hall

Born: 29-Aug-1891
Birthplace: David City, NE
Died: 29-Oct-1982
Location of death: Leawood, KS
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Remains: Buried, Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, MO

Gender: Male
Religion: Methodist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Hallmark Cards

Joyce C. Hall was a preacher's son, named for a bishop in his father's church, one Isaac Joyce. Growing up with a girl's name, he always preferred to be called "J.C.". He was eighteen years old when he arrived in Kansas City in 1910 and rented a room at the YMCA. Penny postcards with pretty pictures printed on one side were already a nationwide fad, and Hall liked the profit margin -- in his high school years he sold penny postcards door-to-door. So with two boxes of penny postcards, he began selling them wholesale to small bookstores, drug stores, and gift shops. Soon he was printing his own cards, and his brothers joined him in the business. When World War I effectively shut down shipments of popular European postcards, Hall Brothers (now Hallmark) became dominant in the card market.

Christmas, birthday, and Valentine's Day cards were early best-sellers, but Hall wanted to manufacture cards that expressed virtually every sentiment for any occasion. He hired writers including Ogden Nash and Norman Vincent Peale, and artists from Winston Churchill to Grandma Moses to Andrew Wyeth. His other major innovation was the installation of long card racks in stores, allowing customers to browse through hundreds of different cards -- previously, the cards had been stored behind the counter in most stores, with customers unable to see them without asking the clerk. The company's warm-hearted and well-reviewed Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movies began running in 1951, and continue airing today.

A millionaire many times over, he drove the same Buick for many years and usually ate lunch in the company cafeteria. Hall personally approved every card the company produced until he was well into his 70s, and by his death in 1982 Hallmark was valued at about $1.5 billion, printing millions of cards daily in thousands of designs. Hall left about $200 million to his children, and $100 million to charity.

Father: George Nelson Hall (minister, b. 1858)
Mother: Nancy Dudley Houston Hall (b. 1859)
Brother: Roland Hall ("Rollie", Hallmark executive, d. 1968)
Brother: William Hall (Hallmark executive, b. 1884)
Sister: Marie Hall (b. 1895)
Wife: Elizabeth Ann Dilday Hall (b. 3-Aug-1896, m. 25-Mar-1920, d. 17-Mar-1975)
Son: Donald J. Hall (Hallmark President & CEO)
Daughter: Elizabeth Ann Hall Reid
Daughter: Barbara Louise Hall Marshall (Hallmark executive)

    High School: (dropped out)

    Hallmark Founder, President (1923-66)
    Hallmark Chairman (1923-82)
    Emmy 1961 (award to Hallmark Corporation)
    French Legion of Honor
    Peabody 1965
    Advertising Hall of Fame (1998)

Author of books:
When You Care Enough (1979)

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