Elton Bryson Stephens Sr.

Elton Bryson Stephens Sr. (1911–2005) was an American businessman from Alabama, who founded EBSCO Industries.

Stephens was born on August 4, 1911, in Clio, Alabama.[3][4] Stephens graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 1932.[5]

Stephens founded Military Service Co. in 1944, with US$5,000.[4][6][7] The company sold magazine subscriptions to the United States Army.[6] It later became known as EBSCO Industries, a diversified company in "information services, publishing and digital media, outdoor products, real estate, manufacturing and general services."[4]

Stephens established the Metropolitan Arts Council of Birmingham in 1986.[4] He donated $15 million to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, where he was chairman of its board of trustees, and where the Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center was named after his late wife.[4] Additionally, he donated $1 million to the United Way of Central Alabama in 1997, joining their Million Dollar Roundtable.[4] For charitable contributions to the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Stephens Family Gallery is named in his family's honor.[4] The Red Mountain Expressway was renamed the Elton B. Stephens Expressway by the City of Birmingham on September 11, 1975.[4]

With his son James, Stephens donated $2.5 million to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.[4] They also paid $15 million for the construction of the Elton B. Stephens Science Center on the campus of Birmingham–Southern College.[4][8]

The Elton B. Stephens Science Center on the campus of Birmingham–Southern College.

Stephens was married to Alys Robinson.[7] They met as students at Birmingham-Southern College and graduated together in 1932.[9] They had two sons, Elton B. Stephens Jr. and James T. Stephens, and two daughters, Jane S. Comer and Dell S. Brooke.[7] His wife died in 1996.[7]

Stephens died on February 5, 2005.[3] His son James serves as the chairman of EBSCO Industries.[7]