A. L. BURTON

 

 

A. L. Burton was born 1879 in Tennessee.  He would one day become the founder of Life and Casualty Insurance Company with a 31-story building, for a long time the tallest building in Nashville.

 

As a youth, he had no more than twenty months of formal education.  Then he went to work in tobacco fields.  Later he walked to Nashville and got a job as a day laborer.  But finally he was able to obtain a position selling insurance in Nashville.   Even though he was an excellent salesman, his company went out of business.  Someone suggested he begin his own insurance company, and so he did.  That was in 1903. 

 

Through the years, his insurance business became one of America’s largest and strongest companies with nearly three billion dollars in value. 

 

He was baptized at the Highland Avenue church of Christ in Nashville in 1910. His growing interest in religion led him to become a financial stabilizer for David Lipscomb University which had been founded in Nashville in 1891 and which had a student body of 200 when Burton first took notice of the possibilities of this Christian College.  Lipscomb University today has  some 1500 students.

 

He made contributions to more than 1000 Churches of Christ throughout the world.  He created a special collection of the Scriptures translated into Braille and made it available without cost to the blind.   

 

At his death in 1966 he would have been worth one billion dollars.  But his philanthropic nature led him to set up most of his wealth in a scholarship fund for the poor and disadvantaged.