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In the early 1900s, Joseph Reeves Hyde Sr. moved from Chattanooga to Memphis in search of a career. Mr. Hyde cut his teeth at a small grocery store near downtown Memphis, and in 1907 he founded Malone & Hyde, a wholesale food distributor that would revolutionize the grocery industry.
The success of his business endeavors allowed Mr. Hyde to pursue his passion for philanthropy. He and his wife, Ruth Sherman Hyde, shared a strong faith and the belief that “to whom much is given, much is required.” As they grew roots in Memphis, the Hydes contributed to numerous charities, with special attention paid to education and faith-based initiatives.
In September 1961, at the age of 77, Mr. Hyde consummated his commitment to charity by founding the J.R. Hyde Sr. Family Foundation. Driven to build a better Memphis through his distinctive brand of personal, family-based philanthropy, Mr. Hyde appointed his three children and his grandson to the board of directors. After Mr. Hyde’s death in 1972, his family continued to lead the Foundation as it shaped the city of Memphis by supporting growth and reform initiatives.
Over the next twenty years, J.R. Hyde III enjoyed a successful business career in which he expanded Malone & Hyde into the nation’s third largest wholesale food distributor and founded leading automotive parts retailer AutoZone. Just like his grandfather, Mr. Hyde wasn’t content with only his business achievements. In 1992, he became president of the J.R. Hyde Sr. Family Foundation, and he founded the J.R. Hyde III Family Foundation to grow the tradition of giving.
Today, the Hyde Family Foundations continue a legacy of philanthropy that dates back to the early 20th century. The Foundations are still led by members of the Hyde family, whose faith in the powers of entrepreneurship, diversity and knowledge anchors their commitment to making Memphis a better place for future generations.