Walter Energy, Inc. \\ Corporate \\ Our Founder
Our Founder, Jim Walter
Mr. Walter: At a Glance
Jim Walter Photo Gallery
Name: James Willis Walter
Started the company: November 1946, when he used $395 in savings, $500 in borrowed money and a borrowed $100 lot to buy and sell his first “shell” home, for a profit of $300.
Growing the company: Starting with a homebuilding company, he built a conglomerate that has transformed through three decades with businesses ranging from the coal mining and ductile iron pipe businesses to companies that made such products as windows, carpet, paper and building products.
His career: He was CEO of the Company until 1983, when he was succeeded by business partner Joe Cordell. He was then Chairman until he retired in 1995.
He was known for: having an excellent memory for names and numbers, setting high standards for those around him and for never forgetting his friends.
Honors: Was presented the Horatio Alger Award by the American Schools and Colleges Association. Named to Builder magazine’s “Millennium 100” list of the most influential homebuilding industry leaders of the 20th century. Inducted into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame. Featured in Time and Fortune magazines and on the cover of Business Week.
His life outside work: Heavily involved in Tampa charities such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, Florida Orchestra, Goodwill Industries and Junior Achievement; loved to hunt quail at his ranch in the Florida town of Parrish; had homes all over the world and owned a boat called TICA (“This I Can't Afford”).
Words to live by: He had a number of sayings. Two favorites: “Everyone makes mistakes. That’s why God put erasers on pencils.” ... and .... “Rules are made when brains run out.”