Beginning his career as a pharmacist and small business owner, Jack C. Massey was born in Georgia, attended college in Florida and eventually relocated to Tennessee to build a career steeped in health care, business and investment. After selling his chain of six drugstores, Massey founded Massey Surgical Supply Company in the 1930s and supplied area hospitals and doctors with medical equipment. In the 1940s, Nashville’s Protestant Hospital was experiencing significant financial challenges that would likely end in the facility’s closure. Understanding the importance of the hospital in this area, Massey became the principal behind its development to the Tennessee Baptist Convention and in 1948, the hospital was renamed Mid State Baptist Hospital.
During his successful career, Massey entered the food industry as owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken. He served on Baptist Hospital’s board as it became the largest hospital in Middle Tennessee in 1968 and with Thomas Frist, Jr. and Thomas Frist, Sr., co-founded HCA an organization that would become the country’s largest for-profit owner and operator of hospitals.
Passionate about his work and contributions to society, Massey’s career was built on the belief that operations, convenience and service can always be improved. Throughout his years of success, he was quick to comment on the joy he found from learning and accomplishing those improvements. “Lots of people have more than I do, but not many have as much fun. The fun is in the accomplishing.”
His desire to share his ideals and perspective with future generations led to his deep commitment to Belmont University. That commitment includes helping build a nationally recognized business school, now known as the Jack C. Massey College of Business.
A lifelong entrepreneur and businessman, savvy investor and devoted philanthropist, Jack C. Massey is an inaugural inductee of the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame.