WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Jerral (Jerry) Wayne Jones Sr., owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, will be inducted as a Member of this prestigious Association next spring. Mr. Jones joins eleven other outstanding business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor. Since its inception in 1947, this annual award has recognized exceptional leaders - all with a commitment to philanthropy and higher education - who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve success.
Mr. Jones was raised in Little Rock, AR, where his family lived in a small apartment above their grocery store. As a child, Mr. Jones always worked - whether stocking shelves past midnight or selling Christmas trees in local parking lots during the holidays - to help support his family. A gifted athlete, Mr. Jones was an all-star football player, earning a scholarship to attend the University of Arkansas. There he not only co-captained the football team but helped lead the team to the 1964 National Championship. He graduated in 1965 with both a B.A and MBA and began his career as executive vice president of Modern Security Life Insurance. He invested in real estate as well as the oil and gas industry. While there were many setbacks, there were also many triumphs. In 1989, Mr. Jones made the bold investment of purchasing the Dallas Cowboys and the lease to operate Texas Stadium for $140 million. In just four years, Mr. Jones helped engineer the turnaround of "America's Team" as the Dallas Cowboys won three Super Bowl titles in rapid succession (1992, 1993 and 1995). He continues to own and operate the Dallas Cowboys and is known for both his business acumen and leadership skills throughout the National Football League.
"Jerry Jones' leadership and work ethic are unparalleled," said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient. "When looking at all of his accomplishments, it is clear that Mr. Jones not only meets the standard for lifetime Membership of the Association but exceeds it. From his business acuity to his renowned generosity, especially in the Dallas community, we are proud to welcome him as a Member. We have no doubt that he will serve as a wonderful advocate for the Association and its mission."
Philanthropically, Mr. Jones is highly respected for having established the Jerry Jones Minority Coaching Fellowship, which offers minority collegiate football coaches the opportunity to work with the Dallas Cowboys. Since 1997, the Jones family and the Dallas Cowboys have enjoyed a partnership with the Salvation Army, celebrating the Army's annual Red Kettle campaign kickoff with a nationally televised halftime show that has helped raise over a billion dollars for the Salvation Army. With the Dallas Cowboys organization, Mr. Jones sponsors several charitable events, which benefit three Dallas-area children's hospitals and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dallas. Mr. Jones and his wife of 50 years, Gene, have also formed their own foundation, The Gene and Jerry Jones Family Charities, and the couple makes various charitable donations. Mr. Jones recently spearheaded an effort to generate a $10 million gift to Catholic High School in Little Rock, Arkansas--the alma mater of Jerry Jones's two sons and his son-in-law.
In accepting this honor, Mr. Jones commented, "I have had many thrills in my life, but to be inducted into Horatio Alger Association - to be included among a group of such esteemed leaders - is both gratifying and humbling. I look forward to representing the Association as proudly and as passionately as I represent the Dallas Cowboys."
Mr. Jones and his cohort will officially be inducted as Members during the Association's annual three-day induction ceremonies, which will be held in Washington, D.C. in April 2014. In addition to honoring these outstanding leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also recognize its 2014 National Scholarship recipients, providing an opportunity for Scholars and Members to meet and exchange stories of their respective perseverance and success.
In addition to presenting its annual award, Horatio Alger Association administers one of the largest, privately-funded scholarship programs for at-risk students in the United States and Canada. Funding for its scholarships, which annually provides more than $9 million to selected students in need, is wholly supported by private donations from Association Members and friends.
For more information about Horatio Alger Association and a full list of its Class of 2014, please visit http://horatioalger.org/news_pr_members2014.cfm.
About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., fulfills its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. Horatio Alger Association supports students through annual undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships and mentoring programs across the United States and Canada. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $100 million in college scholarships to deserving young people. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
SOURCE Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.