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Joe C. Thompson, Jr.

Southland Corporation

1931 - 1961


1930 b. 1901
UndergraduateUniversity of Texas
Born-Died1901 - 1961
BirthplaceTexas (TX)
Era - 1930

Though Southland was quite a successful block ice retailer in the 1920s, when home refrigerators became popular, the company suffered and was forced into bankruptcy in 1932. Seeing the budding success of the retail grocery store business that had begun as a small side operation in the late 1920s, Thompson expanded the chain now known as “7-Eleven” in hopes of helping his starving company. Boosted by the end of Prohibition in 1933, the retail chain, along with the temporarily revived ice business, helped return Southland to profitability in just a few years and provided a base for expansion throughout Thompson’s tenure.