John H. Tyson

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John H. Tyson
Born (1953-09-05) September 5, 1953 (age 65)
OccupationChairman of Tyson Foods
Parent(s)Donald J. Tyson
Jean Tyson
RelativesJohn W. Tyson

John Tyson (born September 5, 1953) is an American heir and businessman.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] He served as Chief Executive Officer of his family business, Tyson Foods (NYSETSN), from 1999 to 2006, and has served as Chairman since 2006.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]


Early life[edit]

John H. Tyson was born on September 5, 1953 in Springdale, Arkansas.[4] His grandfather was John W. Tyson, the founder of Tyson Foods.[4][8] His father, Don Tyson, served as Chief Executive Officer of the family business.[4][8] His mother is named Jean Tyson.[4] He graduated from Springdale High School in 1971, where he was on the student council and played basketball, golf, gymnastics and track.[4][6] He attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he was initiated into the Phi Delta Theta fraternity in 1972.[4] He then transferred to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.[6] Finally, he transferred to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.).[3][4][6] He attended the University of Arkansas School of Law for a year, but dropped out, deciding that becoming a lawyer was not for him.[6]


He worked at his family business, Tyson Foods, since his teenage years.[4] In 1984, he joined the Board of Directors.[4] In 1990, he served as Vice Chairman and in 1993, as President of the beef and pork division.[6] He served as its CEO from 1999 to 2006.[3] Since 1998, he has served as its Chairman.[3][4] Under his leadership, Tyson Foods acquired IBP, Inc., becoming the world’s largest protein-processing company.[4][6]

He has served on the Boards of the Walden Woods Project, which seeks to maintain the land, literature and legacy of Henry David Thoreau.[4] He has also served on the Advisory Board for the Yale Center for Faith and Culture at Yale University, the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas, and as Committee Chairman of the University of Arkansas Capital Campaign for the 21st Century.[4] He has also served on the Boards of the American Meat Institute, the National Chicken Council, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and the Searchlight Leadership Fund.[7] The Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas is named in his honor.[7] He is a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.[4] He has also received the International Faith and Spirit at Work award.[7]

Personal life[edit]

John stopped drinking on December 1, 1990, at the age of thirty-seven.[6] He is an Episcopalian.[5] He collects art, and owns paintings by Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.[6] He got married in 1987 and divorced in 1998, and has two children.[6]


  1. ^ a b "John H. Tyson". Forbes. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
  2. ^ a b Bloomberg BusinessWeek
  3. ^ a b c d e Forbes 2006 CEO Pay: John H Tyson
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Phi Delta Theta
  5. ^ a b c M. Alex Johnson, Walking the walk, on the assembly line , NBC News, 3/24/2005
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k David Barboza, Why Is He on Top? He's a Tyson, for One, The New York Times, March 04, 2001
  7. ^ a b c d e Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace
  8. ^ a b c Tyson Rewards Top Executives After Return to Profit, The New York Times, December 27, 2007