|Born||December 29, 1924|
D'Lo, Mississippi, United States
|Died||December 12, 2012 (aged 87)|
|Alma mater||Baylor University|
|Occupation||Businessperson, banker, publisher|
Joe Lewis Allbritton was an American banker, publisher and philanthropist.
Joe Allbritton was born on December 29, 1924 in D'Lo, Mississippi, the sixth of seven children. His family soon relocated to Houston, Texas, where his father owned a small business. Allbritton served in the United States Navy during World War II. He completed his undergraduate degree and law degree from Baylor University, where he was a national champion debater.
After naval service and law school, he borrowed $5,000 to buy land outside Houston, which was later used in the construction of a freeway connecting Houston and Galveston, earning Allbritton a small fortune. He also chaired Houston International Bank, Houston Citizens Bank and University Bankshares.
In 1975, he purchased The Washington Star along with its television station and smaller stations in the south. In 1978, he was forced to divest the newspaper. This became the foundation of his company, Allbritton Communications, which includes WJLA-TV, NewsChannel 8, short lived Internet venture TBD, and Politico, now run by his son, Robert Allbritton.
Allbritton and his wife, Barbara, were major contributors through to numerous organizations through the Allbritton Foundation. Organizations they donated to including the Baylor College of Medicine, the Allbritton Art Institute, the Oxford Scholars, and the establishment of the International School of Law, which has become the George Mason University School of Law.
He sat on the boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to which he donated the official White House portrait of President Reagan. He contributed to Washington National Cathedral, where he was made a Lay canon.