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Drake, James Frank, 1880-1976



  • Existence: 1880 - 1976

James Frank Drake was born on September 1, 1880 in Pittsfield, NH. He attended Kimball Union Academy and received an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1902, before entering the Tuck School of Administration and Finance from which he graduated in 1903. Drake's first job was as Secretary of the Board of Trade (now Chamber of Commerce) in Springfield, Massachusetts. He became active in the community, sponsoring and managing the annual Dartmouth-Brown football game which he brought to Springfield in 1905 and 1906. n 1907, he was elected to the city's Common Council. He served five years, three of them as President of the Council (1910-1912). He also served on the Municipal Building Commission, which was responsible for erecting a group of civic buildings in Springfield. Drake became Assistant to the President of the Gulf Oil Corporation in July, 1919. Two years later he took a leave of absence to become the confidential aide of Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon. In 1923, Drake accepted the presidency of Standard Steel Car Company and its related subsidiaries, a position he held until 1930, when Standard Steel merged with Pullman, Inc.; he was named Director and Chairman of the Board. He resigned in 1931 to accept the presidency of Gulf Oil Corporation, where he served until 1948, when he became Chairman of the Board and later, in 1953, Chairman of the Executive Committee. He ceased to be an officer of the corporation in 1955, retaining his positions on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee until 1959, when he was named Director Emeritus.

Drake was a major contributor of both time and money to Dartmouth College, including Theta Delta Chi fraternity and the Tuck School. Drake's devotion to Dartmouth led him to become a charter member of the Alumni Council (1913-1917), to be Vice President and President of the Alumni Association, and to membership and officer status in several Dartmouth clubs, as well as the presidency of the Class of 1902 (1973). He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1952, and was the recipient of the Alumni Award for Distinguished Service and the Theta Delta Chi Achievement Award in 1958. In addition, the Drake Room in the Hopkins Center was named for him. Drake died on December 30, 1976.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

James F. Drake papers

Identifier: ML-83
Overview James Frank Drake (1880-1976), businessman. Dartmouth College Class of 1902. Consist of correspondence, student course work, speeches, photographs, printed material and financial documents relating to his work with the Dartmouth College Alumni Council, Alumni Association, and Kimball Union Academy, as well as material related to the Drake family.