Joseph M. Bryan was one of Greensboro's "larger than life" citizens of the 20th century. To outline his contributions to Greensboro- and beyond- leaves one at risk of omitting aspects of his multi-faceted life. He was a family man, businessman, civic minded person, and philanthropist.
Born in Ohio in 1896, Mr. Bryan came to Greensboro in 1931 a few years after marrying Kathleen M. Price whose father founded the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company. Mr. Bryan worked through the ranks of his father-in-law's company to become senior vice president. He was a charter member of the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame; served as Chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Elections; was a recipient of the North Carolina Award in Public Service; and was Honorary General Chairman of the Greensboro Open PGA Tour.
Although he died in 1995, sitting in the boardroom of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation looking at the above portrait of Mr. Bryan, one can sense his philanthropy hard at work. Driving on Bryan Boulevard; stopping by the Bryan School of Business; playing golf at Bryan Park; walking past the Jefferson-Standard building; watching the Wyndam Golf Championship; exercising at the Bryan Family YMCA; attending a Bryan Series lecture; or sorting through the Bryan papers, Mr. Bryan's contributions to Greensboro are tangibly and ubiquitiously evident.
Today is ABC Wednesday and B is for Bryan. For Round 9, we are featuring people, past & present, who have contributed significantly to Greensboro. For Round 8, we featured A-Z streets. View the archives here.