C. Felix Harvey III (July 16, 1920 - )
Farmer, life insurance executive and global business manager, C. Felix Harvey III took a leading family business in eastern North Carolina enterprise and grew it into a major operation.
The Harveys of Kinston, NC, were a prosperous business and
farming family. In the 1870s, L. Harvey & Son was started. Felix's
grandfather had helped expand the cotton and fertilizer business into a
general merchandise store operation. And Felix's dad ran the store and
other Harvey businesses, including an auto dealership.
But then tough times hit with the Great Depression. The family's patriarch Felix's grandfather died in 1931 and his father passed away at a very young age in 1933. Suddenly, 13-year-old Felix was the man of the house.
Felix learned the value of hard work. During his undergraduate days at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Felix took several jobs.
After graduating in 1942, he joined the Navy midshipman school, going on to serve on a PT boat during World War II.
Picking up his business career after the war, Felix helped starft one of the first John Deere Tractor dealerships in the South.
In 1950, Felix became president and CEO of the family firm at age 29.
Over the years, Felix expanded Harvey Enterprises into many different businesses a dairy, a LP gas distributor, cotton brokerage and trucking firm.
In 1955, Felix Harvey founded his first publicly traded company, the Life Insurance Company of North Carolina, which merged in 1963 with Georgia International Life Insurance Company. He became chairman in 1969 and moved into joint ownership of foreign companies.
Felix never stopped working. New businesses were always being created. His banking career began with the founding and chairmanship of a savings bank in 1978, which was sold in 1993. Only to have Felix start another bank in the 1990s with the unusual name "the little bank."
While running various businesses, Felix also worked for the community, founding and heading the Kinston Industrial Development Corporation. Later, he would be instrumental in Global TransPark, serving as president of the GTP Foundation.
In the 1990s, Felix started a roadside produce stand, Falling Creek Produce, to sell vegetables and fruit to friends and passerbys. It also gave the grandchildren their first lessons in business.
Among his many community endeavors is on-going support for the Salvation Army, and for educational institutions around the state the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, Duke University, High Point College, Lenoir Community College and Mount Olive College.
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