Ben Willingham Sr

Former Apparel Executive in the United States

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Ben Willingham, Sr., who died in 1991, was an accomplished business executive. Over the course of his career, he divided his time between his responsibilities as an executive in the apparel industry and his work as a community leader. In 1958, he earned a promotion to president of Genesco, Inc., and quickly established himself as the head of one of the most prolific apparel companies in the world. Ben Willingham, Sr., complemented his executive experience with roles as a corporate director. He was instrumental in Genesco’s acquisition of retail corporations such as S.H. Kress & Co. and served as a director other entities including the Third National Bank of Nashville and Royal Worcester/Spode in Great Britain.

Concurrent with his professional endeavors, Ben Willingham, Sr., maintained a dedication to philanthropy and supported a number of charitable organizations across the country. For many years, he leveraged his leadership experience to his position as a director for organizations such as the National Association for Mental Health. A member of the board of publications of the Methodist Church, Ben Willingham, Sr., also served as a member of the boards of Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church of Savannah and the West End Methodist Church in Nashville.