Martha Rivers Ingram

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Martha Rivers Ingram
Vanderbilt Commencement Zeppos Ingram.jpg
Ingram (left) at the 2008 Vanderbilt Commencement; (right) Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos
Born Martha Robinson Rivers
(1935-08-20) August 20, 1935 (age 80)
Charleston, South Carolina
Nationality American
Alma mater Vassar College
Occupation Chairman, Ingram Industries
Known for Entrepreneur, philanthropist, arts patron
Net worth $4.2 billion (March 2015)[1]
Title Chairman, Vanderbilt University Board of Trust
Religion Episcopalian
Spouse(s) E. Bronson Ingram (deceased)
Children Orrin H. Ingram II
John R. Ingram
David B. Ingram
Robin Bigelow Ingram Patton
Relatives Orrin Henry Ingram, Sr. (father-in-law)
Frederic B. Ingram (brother-in-law)

Martha Robinson Rivers Ingram (born August 20, 1935) is an American business executive and philanthropist. She serves as the chairman of Ingram Industries. In 1995, Martha Ingram succeeded her late husband as chairman and chief executive officer of Ingram Industries, one of America's largest privately held companies.

Early life[edit]

Martha Robinson Rivers was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the daughter of John Minott and Martha Elizabeth Robinson Rivers. She was educated at Ashley Hall in Charleston. She graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1957.[2]


Upon graduation, she found employment at WCSC-AM/FM and WCSC-TV, a radio and television station, respectively, owned by her father.[2]

Ingram was appointed by her husband as Director of Public Affairs at Ingram Industries in 1979.[2] After her husband's death in 1995, she became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.[2] She has ranked 524th on the Forbes list of richest people.

Political activity[edit]

In 2015, Ingram donated to Republican candidate David Fox's failed campaign to become the new Mayor of Nashville.[3]


Ingram was a co-founder of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center which opened in 2005.[4][5][6] She formerly served as Chairman of the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The Vanderbilt Blair School of Music has been the recipient of $300 million of Ingram company stock.[5][6]

Ingram was honored by Business Week as the 50th most generous philanthropist for her donations between the years 2000 and 2004.[5][7][8] In 2006 she was honored by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee as the 2006 recipient of the 13th Annual Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts.[5][9] She received the Eli & Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts.[4]

Personal life[edit]

She married E. Bronson Ingram II, the son of business magnate Orrin Henry Ingram, Sr., on on October 4, 1958, at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.[2][4] They had three sons: Orrin H. Ingram II, John R. Ingram, and David B. Ingram, and a daughter, Robin Ingram Patton.[2]


  1. ^ "Forbes World's Richest People 2008: Martha Ingram and family". Forbes. 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Inside A $15 Billion Dynasty, Bloomberg Business, September 28, 1997
  3. ^ Harrison, Scott (September 8, 2015). "Barry vs. Fox: Who the biggest business names have their money behind for mayor". Nashville Business Journal (Nashville, Tennessee). Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Vanderbilt University: Board of Trust: Martha R. Ingram". Vanderbilt University. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  5. ^ a b c d Martha Ingram's philanthropy page. Faces of Philanthropy, accessed December 29, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Martha Rivers Ingram Awarded for Philanthropy in The Arts. Brentwood Life, accessed December 29, 2010.
  7. ^ The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists. Business Week, accessed December 29, 2010.
  8. ^ Martha Ingram and Family profile. Forbes, accessed December 29, 2010.
  9. ^ Nashville Philanthropist Martha Ingram Named 13th Annual Joe Kraft Award Recipient. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, accessed on December 29, 2010.