Pictured (left to right): Gene Scott (ITHF member), David Benjamin (ITA), Jack Blanton, Stan Smith (ITHF President)
The ITA expresses its condolences and deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Jack Blanton, the 2002 ITA Achievement Award winner, who passed away on Dec. 28, 2013.
Blanton was regarded as one of Houston’s most exceptional business and civic leaders. Some of his greatest achievements occurred in the role of civic leader as Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas and Chairman of the Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce.
While at Texas, Blanton played both singles and doubles on the varsity tennis squad. He was the Southwest Conference doubles champion in 1945.
After earning his law degree at Texas, Blanton joined Scurlock Oil in 1950 and quickly ascended to its presidency in 1958. He helped make Scurlock the company it eventually became – one of the largest crude oil gathering and transportation entities in the country. In 1982, when Scurlock became a subsidiary of Ashland Oil Inc., Blanton was named chairman and CEO.
In 1990, Blanton was named Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Houston Endowment, the largest private foundation in Texas, founded in 1937. In addition, Blanton personally endowed scholarships at the University of Texas at Austin, Southern Methodist University, Huston-Tillotson College, Wiley College, Texas Southern University and Lon Morris College. In 1997, the Houston Endowment made a $12 million donation toward financing a new building called the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art.
In 2002, Blanton was honored with the ITA Achievement Award, presented by Rolex Watch U.S.A. The award is given each year to past participants in the world of varsity tennis who have achieved excellence in their chosen careers. The spirit of the award highlights both professional success and contributions to society, made either as a direct result of a career, or through humanitarian efforts.
David Benjamin, Executive Director of the ITA, said, "Jack Blanton was an extraordinary individual with extraordinary accomplishments in business, education and philanthropy - and he had a great love of tennis, especially the college game. Jack was a great friend, and he will be sorely missed.”
To read more about Blanton’s life, please click here to read his obituary.