John H. McConnell

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John Henderson McConnell (May 10, 1923 – April 25, 2008) was the founder of Worthington Industries, which manufactures processed steel products, pressure cylinders, and metal framing. He was the founder, majority owner, chairman, and governor of the Columbus Blue Jackets NHL team. In addition, McConnell was a part of the ownership group of the AFL's Columbus Destroyers, an early investor in the MLS' Columbus Crew, and minority owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates.[1]

McConnell was also a philanthropist. Among his contributions was a donation of over $15 million to develop the McConnell Heart Health Center at Riverside Methodist Hospital. This was the largest donation ever received by the hospital and its parent OhioHealth. He also donated to promote the development of the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center, a community gathering/arts center named after his late wife. After bringing the NHL expansion franchise to Columbus, he helped establish the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation in March 2000 with the stated goal of helping improve the quality of life throughout central Ohio.[1]

McConnell was named the Chief Executive Officer of the Year by Financial World and Industry Week magazines. He also received the Horatio Alger Award, the National Football Foundation Gold Medal Award, the 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, the Ohio Governor's Award and the Michigan State University Outstanding Alumni Award. He was inducted into the Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame, the Columbus Hall of Fame, and the Junior Achievement National Business Hall of Fame.[1]

A native of Pughtown, West Virginia, McConnell served in the navy aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-3) during World War II. He went on to receive a degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University in 1949. As a young steel salesman, he founded Worthington Industries in 1955, using his car as collateral to purchase his first load of steel for custom processing. He remained chairman until 1996, and retired from the board of directors in 2002.[1] McConnell's son, John P. McConnell, succeeded McConnell as CEO of Worthington Industries in 1993, and as Chairman of the Board in 1996.[2]

A tribute to "Mr. Mac" was held at Nationwide Arena for the home opener of the 2008–09 Columbus Blue Jackets season. The Blue Jackets defeated the Nashville Predators 5-3.[3]


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