Johnnie Bryan Hunt

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Johnnie Bryan Hunt
Johnnie Bryan Hunt.gif
Hunt in 2004
Born Johnnie Bryan Hunt, Sr
February 28, 1927
Heber Springs, Arkansas U.S
Died December 7, 2006 (aged 79)
Springdale, Arkansas U.S
Occupation Founder and C.E.O. of J. B. Hunt Transport Services. (1961-2004)
Spouse(s) Johnelle Hunt (m. 1960's? his death 2006)

Johnnie Bryan Hunt, Sr. (February 28, 1927 – December 7, 2006), better known as J. B. Hunt, was an American entrepreneur who founded J.B. Hunt Transport Services, the largest publicly-owned trucking company in the US. The company is based in Lowell, Arkansas.

Personal background[edit]

Hunt was born in Heber Springs, Arkansas. Growing up during the Great Depression put a large strain on him.[1]

His first job was working for his uncle in his sawmill. After a stint in the US Army, Hunt spent the 1950s as a lumber salesman, auctioneer, and truck driver before starting a rice hulls business with his wife Johnelle in 1961. His first attempt at the trucking business was not successful. He lost roughly $19,000.[2][3] He returned to the trucking industry in 1969, with five tractors and seven trailers.[2][tone]

Hunt was known for his generosity, and carried a money clip containing $100 bills, which he would hand out to people he felt could use the money.[1]


Hunt began to remove himself from the company when he stepped down as president in 1982, but was still a fixture in the company, and remained chairman of the board until 1995. On December 31, 2004, Hunt retired from the company, but remained its largest shareholder.[2]

Although retired, Hunt visited the headquarters located in Lowell, Arkansas frequently to shake hands and converse with employees. Every day he would telephone the higher executive assistants and ask "What's the stock doing, Darling?"[citation needed][tone]

Hunt died on December 7, 2006 after sustaining a head injury during a fall on ice five days earlier.[1] He had been in critical condition for several days at a hospital in Springdale, Arkansas.[4][5]


In 2005, Springdale Public Schools opened a new elementary school named after Hunt. The Hunt family donated the land for the school, valued in excess of $500,000. This K-5 elementary school is located on Silent Grove Road in Springdale, Arkansas. Hunt was a frequent visitor to the school after it opened.


  1. ^ a b c Barnes, Steve (8 December 2006). "Johnnie B. Hunt, 79, Trucking Company Owner, Is Dead". Retrieved 4 December 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "A legend leaves the trucking stage". 30 December 2004. Retrieved 4 December 2017. 
  3. ^ Smith, J., "In Memoriam, J.B. Hunt", World Trade Magazine, February 2007, p. 62
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Yahoo Finance - Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News". Retrieved 4 December 2017.