Hugh McColl

Born June 18, 1935, in Bennettsville, South Carolina, Hugh Leon McColl Jr. grew up in a close-knit family that prized success. After coming of age in this small South Carolina town, and then, following college at UNC-Chapel Hill and a stint in the Marine Corps, McColl landed a job at what would become known as North Carolina National Bank--a position in Charlotte, NC, that would go on to change his life. Excelling in a field fraught with competition and rivalry, Hugh McColl won clients, solved financial crises, and ultimately, in 1983, became the bank’s chief executive officer, taking charge just as the business began to grow beyond its North Carolina boundaries. During his 18 years in the office of CEO, NCNB would move across state lines, time zones, and regions to become one of the three largest banks in the nation. In the process, the company would change names twice, becoming NationsBank in 1991, and then, in 1998, Bank of America. A devotee to the city of Charlotte, the now-retired Bank of America CEO’s crucial contributions helped turn the Queen City into a success story as the most powerful financial center in the South--and one of the most cultured, dynamic and accessible cities in the nation. In Biographical Conversations with Hugh Leon McColl Jr., take an in-depth look at the life and times of this Tar Heel banking pioneer--from his trailblazing early years, climb up the corporate ladder, acquisition of one of America’s largest banks and crucial work in the revitalization of North Carolina’s largest city. His candid and thoughtful reflections provide an intriguing glimpse into this ultimate business insider.

Biographical Conversations is supported by a grant from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.

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