Harris Saunders Jr

Trucking Leader, Patron of the Arts

Harris Saunders Jr. (1925-2018) was born in Birmingham and attended Ramsey High School. He entered the United States Navy’s V12 program at Georgia Institute of Technology and received his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in 1945. Saunders knew from an early age that one day he would go to work for the family business – a truck leasing company. Over a forty-year span, he worked to build Saunders Leasing System into the third-largest truck-leasing and truck services company in the United States. He was the chairman of the board when the company, publicly traded on the American Stock Exchange, was sold to Ryder System, Inc. of Miami in 1986. Mr. Saunders served on the corporate boards of SouthTrust Bank and the Energen Corporation. He was also the founding chairman of the Truck Rental and Leasing Association, past chairman of the American Truck Historical Association, chairman of the United States Business and Industrial Council, and served on the Birmingham Salvation Army Board. Saunders was a generous patron of the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.