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1970 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Sam M. Fleming*

Chairman, Retired
Sun Trust Bank - Nashville

"You achieve success when you accomplish your primary objectives and make a major contribution to the environment in which you live."

Born in 1908 in Franklin, Tennessee, Sam Fleming at the age of five drove the family cow to pasture for 10 cents a week. Because his mother believed an idle brain was the devil's workshop, he was sent to church four times each Sunday and prayer meeting on Wednesday nights. The money Fleming earned in his childhood jobs was held "in escrow" until he saved $1, which was put into a savings account. By the time he started college at age 16, he had saved $1,000. Just before he was to graduate from Vanderbilt, his father died, and Fleming had to take over the family's feed and grain business until he could find a buyer. Then he took a job at a New York bank for $125 a month and later returned to Tennessee to work at Third National for $250 a month. After serving in the Navy during World War II, retiring as a Lt. Commander, he returned to the bank, working his way up to chairman and CEO prior to retiring in 1973.

* Deceased