William Houston Blount


William Houston Blount was an industrialist and business leader who in 1946 co-founded with his brother Winton “Red” Blount a construction company, Blount Brothers Corporation, that grew into international prominence. In 1954 the brothers entered a joint venture with Birmingham Slag to make concrete pipe. Two years later, the company merged with Vulcan Detinning and joined the newly-formed Vulcan Materials. Houston Blount joined the company as vice president of marketing.

In 1970 he became executive vice president of Vulcan’s construction materials group and began leading the company in dramatic new directions. It was Blount who saw an opportunity in Saudi Arabia’s mid-1970s construction surge and led in the formation of a venture to supply materials for that nation’s massive infrastructure projects.

Blount succeeded Barney Monaghan as president and chief executive officer of Vulcan in 1979. Ultimately, the company would become the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates-crushed stone, sand and gravel and a major producer of construction materials such as asphalt and ready-mixed concrete.

Blount was also a community leader who served as a director of First Alabama Bancshares (now Regions Bank), Vanity Fair Corporation, Statesman Life Insurance, Blount Inc. and Protective Life Corporation. He gave freely of his time and expertise by also serving as a director for The Alabama Shakespeare Theatre, the Alabama School of Arts Foundation, Birmingham Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and others. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham-Southern College and Alabama Heritage Trust Fund, and was a member of the advisory board for the Samford University School of Business. He led a number of fundraising drives for various nonprofit organizations.

Blount was born in Union Springs, Alabama. He was educated at Staunton Military Academy, the University of Alabama and Harvard Business School. He entered the U.S. Naval Air Corps in 1942 during the early days of World War II. He earned his wings within a year and served until 1946, attaining the rank of lieutenant junior grade. He was married to Frances Dean and they were parents of five children.