By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
One of Alabama’s richest residents, Garry Neil Drummond, died on Wednesday, July 13. The longtime Chairman and CEO of the Drummond Company was 78.
Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) wrote: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Garry Neil Drummond, who passed away today at the age of 78. Garry Neil’s life was an American success story, starting out working for his father in the coal mines of Walker County at age 15 and eventually becoming CEO of the Drummond Company. His extraordinary vision and leadership turned Drummond from a small company providing coal to homes and farms in Alabama into a world-wide leader in energy production. But more than that, Garry Neil devoted himself to his native Alabama, supporting a number of civic and community groups including the Big Oak Ranch, Inc., Boy Scouts of America Greater Alabama Council, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, and the Birmingham Rotary Club, as well as being a long-time member of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees where he was President Pro Tem of the Board. My heart goes out to his wife, Peggy, their four children and extended family. I know that Garry Neil’s influence and presence will be greatly missed.”
Business Council of Alabama Chairman Tommy Lee, the President and CEO of Vulcan Inc. said in a statement, “Garry Neil Drummond was a dedicated member of our board of directors and was a giant in the business and education arenas. There is a great loss today in Alabama of a dynamic leader who leaves his mark not only in the energy field but also the University of Alabama where he served as a board of trustee member and president pro tem of the board.”
BCA president and CEO William J. Canary said Drummond was a great advocate for business and for the state of Alabama. “Garry had a deep love for business and for the state and his family. He was respected in the national and international business arena and was a leader on many fronts. He taught that an individual can make a profound difference. Our prayers are for his family at this difficult time.”
The President-mining for Drummond Company Inc. Mike Tracy said, “Drummond Company has lost an exemplary leader and our industry a great visionary. With his foresight and dedication, our company has grown to be one of the world’s premier energy producers.”
Drummond was a 1961 graduate of the University of Alabama. He later served on the University’s Board of Trustees.
The Drummond Company was founded in 1935 by his father, H.E. Drummond. Garry became the CEO in 1973. The Drummond Company has large coal mines in Alabama and Colombia. The company also owns ABC Coke, the largest merchant foundry coke producer in the United States and a real estate division with developments in Lakeland, Fl., Palm Springs, Calif., and Birmingham.
Forbes estimated recently that Garry Drummond’s net worth was around $600 million.
Drummond is survived by his wife, Peggy, four children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a brother, and nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by a son, three brothers, and two sisters.
(Original reporting by the BCA Today’s Nancy Hewston contributed to this report)