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Encyclopedia > J. Sargeant Reynolds
J. Sargeant Reynolds (1936-1971), Richmond, Virginia businessman and statesman

Julian Sargeant Reynolds (June 30, 1936-June 13, 1971) of Richmond, Virginia was a teacher, businessman, and politician. He served in both the House and Senate of the Virginia General Assembly and served as Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... June 13 is the 164th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (165th in leap years), with 201 days remaining. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ... Nickname: Motto: Sic Itur Ad Astra (Thus do we reach the stars) Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia Coordinates: , Country United States State Virginia County Independent City Government  - Mayor L. Douglas Wilder (I) Area  - City 62. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... A businessman (sometimes businesswoman, female; or businessperson, gender neutral) is a generic term for a wide range of people engaged in profit-oriented enterprises, generally the management of a company. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A politician is an individual who is a formally recognized and active member of a government, or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. ... The Virginia General Assembly is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a U.S. state. ... The Lieutenant Governor is a constitutional officer of the Commonwealth of Virginia. ... State nickname: Old Dominion Other U.S. States Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Governor Mark R. Warner Official languages English Area 110,862 km² (35th)  - Land 102,642 km²  - Water 8,220 km² (7. ...

He is best remembered for advocating Virginia's Community College System. Following his death in office as Virginia's Lieutenant Governor of an inoperable brain tumor in 1971 at the age of 34, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College was named in his honor. In Canada and the United States, a community college, sometimes called a technical college, county college, junior college or a city college, is an educational institution providing higher education and lower-level tertiary education, granting certificates, diplomas, and Associates degrees. ... A brain tumor is any intracranial tumor created by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, normally either found in the brain itself (neurons, glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells), lymphatic tissue, blood vessels), in the cranial nerves (myelin-producing Schwann cells), in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary and pineal gland... J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College is a community college in central Virginia, named after J. Sargeant Reynolds. ...


Youth, education, career, family

Julian Sargeant Reynolds was born in New York City into the Reynolds Metals Company family. His grandfather, Richard Samuel Reynolds, Sr., worked for his uncle, Richard Joshua (R.J.) Reynolds who founded R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1890. Richard S. Reynolds, Sr., was inspired by the need for better cigarette packaging and established the United States Foil Co., in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1919. After realizing the limitations of the tin and lead used in his company's products, in 1926 he added aluminum to the line. He believed so strongly in the promise of aluminum that in 1928 he formed a new company, Reynolds Metals, and opened its first aluminum foil plant and rolling mill in Louisville. The headquarters of the company moved to New York City in 1930 and to Richmond, Virginia, in 1938.

J. Sargeant Reynolds was the second son of Richard Samuel Reynolds, Jr., and Virginia McDonald Sargeant Reynolds. He graduated from St. Christopher's School in Richmond, VA, in 1947 and from Woodberry Forest School in Orange, VA, in 1954. In 1958, he graduated from the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania and began his career with the family business. In 1961, he was named Assistant Treasurer and in 1965, he was named Executive Vice-President of the Reynolds Aluminum Credit Corp.

He served a year as State Coordinator of Young Citizens for LBJ, and he taught Economics at the University of Richmond. He co-owned WGOE, an AM radio station with studios at Willow Lawn in Henrico County, Virginia, just west of Richmond, with his older brother, Richard (known as Major in honor of his great-grandfather) S. Reynolds III.

J. Sargeant Reynolds married the former Elizabeth (Betsy) Weir Veeneman of Louisville, Kentucky, and they had four children: Virginia (Ginny) Weir, J. Sargeant, Jr., Jeanne Elizabeth (Liz) and David Parham Reynolds II (who died less than 2 months after his birth). After a divorce, he married Mary Ballou Handy Stettinius of Lynchburg, Virginia, and they had one son, Richard Roland Reynolds.

Politician, leader, untimely death

"Sarge" Reynolds began his political career as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1965. In 1967, he was elected to the Virginia State Senate. In 1969, he was elected Lieutenant Governor, the State's no. 2 position. To fill his vacated Senate seat in Virginia's upper house, he recommended a young Richmond lawyer and politician named L. Douglas Wilder, who later became the nation's first elected African-American Governor.

Shortly after taking office he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, 9-1/2 months later he died in New York City. He was 34 years old. His was the first State funeral in Virginia since the 1893 burial of the President of the Conferency, Jefferson Davis. Proud of his Virginia heritage, his father's family was from Patrick County, Virginia, and his mother is from Louisa County, Virginia, he chose to be buried at the boyhood home of his grandfather, Abram David (known as Major, his rank in the Confederate Army). Major was the older brother of R.J. Reynolds. Named Rock Spring Plantation by Hardin William and Nancy Jane Cox Reynolds, parents of Major and R.J., it is now called The Reynolds Homestead, and is located at Critz, Patrick County, Virginia. Major Reynolds, also a successful tobacco manufacturer and prominent citizen in Bristol, Tennessee, was the father of Richard S. Reynolds, Sr., who invented Reynolds Wrap. Descendents of Hardin William Reynolds have influenced the economic and cultural growth of the U.S., particularly in the South, through their business successes and philanthropy.

Sargeant Reynolds' son and father, David Parham Reynolds II and Richard S. Reynolds, Jr., also are buried at The Reynolds Homestead as is the youngest daughter and last surviving child of R.J. Reynolds, Nancy Susan Reynolds Bagley Verney. In 1969, Nancy deeded 710 acres of the Homestead to Virginia Tech and another 7 acres in 1980. The Homestead was restored in 1970 with many of the original furnishings belonging to Hardin William and Nancy Jane Cox Reynolds, including the bed that their 16 children were born in. Today, the Reynolds Homestead is a continuing education and forestry research center and can be toured from April through October.

After his death, many noted the progress the State had made since the burial of the President of the Confederacy and advocate of slavery to the burial of a man who fought to bring racial equality through politics. One of the most famous quotes, found at the end of his biography in the Virginia Observer, illustrates the commanding respect for him: "Because of 'Sarge', Virginia is a better place in which to live. He was a modern day patriot, a profile in courage. Not all of us can achieve the devotion to man-kind that he fought for. But we all must try. 'Sarge' Reynolds was a giant among men. We are all the richer because he lived. We are all the poorer because he has left. We shall not look upon his like again." It was said that had he lived he would have no doubt found his way to the Oval Office.


During his political career, Reynolds strove to better the Commonwealth of Virginia in a progressive and visionary manner. As a young Democrat who held great promise, he was often compared to former U.S. President, John F. Kennedy. Reynolds had worked hard to promote public education throughout the State. He helped to pioneer the system of community colleges which is present today. The largest and youngest of the 23 community colleges is the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, named for him.

Today, the Reynolds family is still involved in the success of the college. A memorial room to him is located in the library of the downtown Richmond campus. Past chairmen of its Education Foundation have included his son, J. Sargeant Reynolds, Jr.

A book, Sarge Reynolds - In the Time of His Life, was published in 1996.

"Sarge Reynolds, always ready to break with tradition, had a vision for the Commonwealth that included all its citizens--young and old, black and white, rich and poor. With his death, Virginians lost a charismatic leader and a unifying force." former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder

Preceded by
Fred G. Pollard
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
1970 – 1971
Succeeded by
Henry Howell

Frederick G. Pollard (May 7, 1918-July 7, 2003) of Richmond, Virginia was a lawyer and politician. ... The Lieutenant Governor is a constitutional officer of the Commonwealth of Virginia. ... Henry Evans Howell, Jr. ...

External links

  • J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
  • J. Sargeant Reynolds: Words and Accomplishments



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