1986 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"You buy success with effort-the same way you buy groceries with money."
O. Wayne Rollins was born in 1912 on a farm in northwest Georgia. He worked 72 hours a week in a cotton mill during the Depression. In 1948, he formed a partnership with his younger brother John, who is also a member of the Horatio Alger Association, to buy a radio station in Radford, Virginia. Their business grew into Rollins Broadcasting, which became one of the first to create programming for specific markets. Rollins took the company public in 1961. In 1964, he purchased Orkin Exterminating Company, which was worth nearly seven times Rollins Broadcasting's revenues. The transaction stands as the first recorded leveraged buyout in U. S. history. Today, Orkin is one of the largest exterminating companies in the world. The Rollins company continued to grow and diversify until 1984 when it became two new NYSE companies: Rollins Communications and RPC Energy Services, Inc. Today, the publicly-traded Rollins businesses include Rollins, Inc. (Orkin’s wholly owned subsidiary), RPC, Inc. and Marine Products Corporation. Emory University's science research center is named after O. Wayne Rollins, as well as Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. * Deceased