A. G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award
Arthur G. Gaston Sr. was a major force in shaping the development of black entrepreneurship in Birmingham, Alabama. His business achievements served to inspire other business owners about what they could achieve, while the businesses themselves provided services in and to the community.
He launched Booker T. Washington (BTW) Insurance Co. in 1932, of a time when white insurance companies ignored black consumers. Gaston and a group of investors started Citizens Federal Savings Bank, a savings and loan association, after raising $350,000 in 1957. Besides Citizens Federal and BTW, Gaston’s empire included BTW business College, A. G. Gaston Construction Co. the A. G. Gaston Home for Senior Citizens, Citizens Drugstore, Smith & Gaston Funeral Directors Inc., New Grace Hill Cemeteries Inc., Zion Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum, Vulcan Realty & Investment Co. Inc. and BTW Broadcasting Service Inc., which includes radio stations WENN-FM and WAGG-AM. In June 1992, he was named Black enterprise Entrepreneur of the Century.
This award recognizes that entrepreneurial spirit and the guiding light of the individual for whom it is named. It is given to an entrepreneur who has consistently distinguished record of business success.
BE salutes these six entrepreneurs for 25 years of outstanding business achievement and success on this the 25th anniversary listing of the BE 100s.