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Thomas Chandler Hays


1935 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Thomas Chandler Hays Obituary
April 21, 1935 - August 24, 2016 On August 24, Thomas Chandler Hays, 81, died at the UCLA Health Center in Santa Monica, CA after being briefly ill with lymphoma. Born April 21, 1935 in Berwyn, IL, the son of Marion C. and Carolyn Reid Hays, Tom left a loving family: his wife, Mary Ann (nee Jergens); four children, Thomas, Michael (Carol), Paul, Jennifer (Keith), and grandson, Ian (Alana); three siblings, Elisabeth Hays and Marilyn Hopkins, Louis B. Hays, as well as cousins, nieces, and nephews. Graduating with highest honors from Harvard School in North Hollywood, CA., he completed ROTC training and earned a BS (1957) and MS (1958) at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. He performed his military service as a Project Engineer at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH from 1958-61 with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. While there, helping to develop the flight control system for the X-15, he became acquainted with such luminaries as Chuck Yeager and Neil Armstrong. After graduating a Baker Scholar in 1963 from Harvard University's School of Business Administration, he worked at Lockheed California as an operations engineer in their Space Systems Division. In 1964, Mr. Hays was recruited as Product Manager by the Andrew Jergens Company (AJCO), in Cincinnati, OH. Within the year he was elected to the Board of Directors and was responsible for developing such innovative products as the Jergens Clear Complexion Bar and Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoo. By 1970 he was promoted to Vice-President of Product Management, and became President and CEO in 1979. In 1980, he joined the American Tobacco Company (ATCO) in New York City as Vice President, Marketing. Appointed as Executive Vice President within the year, he reinvigorated the famous Lucky Strikes brand by adding a filter version. He soon became a Director of American Brands, the parent company of ATCO, whose subsidiaries included such key brands as Titleist, Jim Beam Distillery, Master Lock, Franklin Life, and Swingline. In 1988, he became President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1994, he was instrumental in the sale of ATCO and changed the name of American Brands to Fortune Brands. Mr. Hays became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fortune Brands in 1995, remaining in this position until his retirement in 1999. In 1997, he was bestowed an honorary degree of Doctor of Commercial Science by Pace University, NY. Other business affiliations include serving on the boards of ACNielsen and Gallaher Group PLC, and being associated with the Ambassadors Roundtable, the Business Roundtable, the Conference Board, and the Economic Club. Throughout his life he was an avid tennis player, traveled extensively, and gave his time, energy, and love to the people and organizations that meant the most to him. He became President of the Cincinnati Tennis Club and served on the Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Country Day School in OH. He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Fairfield County Foundation in Darien, CT. For 45 years he was associated with Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, the largest non-profit provider of treatment services in the US for children, adolescents, and adults confronting emotional, behavioral, and developmental challenges, where he became Chairman of its Board of Trustees. For 47 years he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Andrew Jergens Foundation of Cincinnati, OH. His friends and colleagues knew him for his integrity, compassion and understanding, intelligence, generosity, thoughtful and informed guidance, loyalty and humor. Contributions in his memory can be made to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, Development Office, 444 Devereux Drive, Villanova, PA 19085 (www.devereux.org/giving) or . A family celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 7 to Sept. 11, 2016
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