About Welcome Wilson, Sr.

About Welcome Wilson, Sr.

 

 

Welcome Wilson, Sr. is the Chairman of the Board of Welcome Group, LLC. In 2011 he was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame and he was the honoree at the Houston Technology Center Celebration of Entrepreneurs.  Mr. Wilson has been in business and public service for eight decades.   

What's in a name?  Mr. Wilson was born in 1928 and was expected to be a girl.  Instead his mother delivered a 12-pound baby boy. He was nameless for 22 days as his parents argued over a name.  "Let's make him feel welcome," said his father, E.E. Jack Wilson and so he was named Welcome Wade Wilson.  There are now three generations of Welcome Wilsons in the family. 

Click here to view an in depth interview with Welcome Wilson, Sr. 

Below are more interesting facts about Mr. Wilson. His life has been every bit as interesting as his name.

  • LBJ Special Ambassador to Nicaragua (President Somosa) 1966
  • Regularly performed live singing commercials on TV 1949
  • Witness to Atom Bomb test in Nevada 1954
  • Worked for free lunches at 7 years old during the depression
  • Five children, 16 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren & only one wife 
  • Served in the Executive Office of the President under JFK 1961
  • Three-Year Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of Houston 2007 
  • Inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame 2011
  • Remained nameless for 22 days when his parents could not agree on a name 1928
  • Chairman of the Board, Homestead Bank of Houston 1970
  • Naval Officer in Japan serving the National Security Agency 1950
  • Local radio station newscaster during World War II 1944
  • Developed 150 industrial facilities 
  • Purchased 17 office buildings from RTC
  • Invited and spoke to a joint session of New Mexico Legislature 1959
  • Hitchhiked 360 miles and back 30 weekends in college to see his girlfriend 1946
  • Named One of Ten Outstanding Young Men in US Federal Service 1958
  • Married college sweetheart, Joanne, on college graduation day 1949
  • Saved his best friend’s life using CPR 1988
  • Worked on a hog farm at age 13, picked up slop from Houston hotels 1941
  • Developed Jamaica Beach and Tiki Island in Galveston, Texas 1957
  • Longshoreman on Brownsville, Texas docks for banana boats 1945
  • Distinguished Alumnus, UH Bauer College of Business 1996
  • Led a slate of Mayor and City Council candidates to abject defeat 1945
  • Witness to Hydrogen Bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific 1956
  • Member of Harris County Grand Jury Commission 1970
  • Performed in night clubs as a comedy act singer 1948
  • Was with JFK in Houston the night before he was assassinated 1963
  • Called twice to testify before a Houston Federal Criminal Grand Jury 1972
  • Led a drive to raise money to install the first weather radar station in Texas 1955
  • Watched President Eisenhower hit golf balls daily from his office at 3:00 pm 1958
  • Held a hearing which changed hurricane reporting by the Weather Bureau 1958
  • Shot craps with Judge Roy Hofheinz in Las Vegas 1954
  • His signature is on 30,000 Diplomas from University of Houston System 2007
  • Attended Democratic Convention in San Francisco - LBJ was nominated 1964
  • Performed two wedding ceremonies under Texas Law 2004
  • Developer of the sixth Marriott Hotel in the world (Houston, Texas) 1967
  • Billy Gibbons & Dusty Hill played at his daughter’s party before forming ZZ Top 1971
  • President of the student body, Brownsville Junior College 1945
  • Lived in an army house trailer on UH Campus. The bathroom was a block away. 1946
  • Had Lonesome Dove author Larry McMurtry as a house guest 1990
  • Business Partner of Johnny Goyen, Mayor Pro-tem of Houston 22 years 1964
  • Played ping-pong daily with World Champion Chess Master Oswald Jacoby 1952
  • Friend of the original seven astronauts. Alan Shepherd was his neighbor 1963
  • Chairman of the Board of an American Stock Exchange Company 1969
  • Executive Assistant to Texas Oilman/Philanthropist R.E.(Bob) Smith 1953 
  • Developed Foxhall Apartments on I-10 at Chimney Rock in Houston 1968
  • Hunted duck in Arkansas with Governor Orville Faubus 1958
  • Was in a snow storm flight to DC with Oklahoma Governor for the JFK Inauguration 1961
  • Personally knew Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Reagan, Bush Sr. & Bush Jr.
  • Partner of Jack Valenti, President of the Motion Picture Association 1957
  • Board Chairman of Colonial Savings Association of Houston 1967
  • Named Distinguished Alumnus, Texas Southmost College 2005
  • Ate nothing but bananas for 13 days in college 1947
  • Ten percent owner of Houston Astros baseball team 1970
  • Still riding the Salt Grass Trail Ride after 45 years 1967 
  • Installed Houston Air Raid Sirens heard every Friday at noon for 30 years 1955
  • Lived on River Oaks Boulevard for 30 years 1967 
  • Special Assistant to Houston Mayor (Judge) Roy Hofheinz 1954
  • Took a $3 airplane ride in a Ford Tri-motor Plane 1935
  • Almost lost at sea while swimming in the Gulf 100 miles off Galveston, Texas 1989
  • Experienced earthquake tremors in Yokohama, Japan 1951
  • Designed and built a two story office building 50 ft underground 1960
  • Named Distinguished Alumnus, University of Houston 1970
  • President of Mortgage Broker River Oaks Financial Group, Inc. 1984
  • Chairman of the Desperado Horseback Riding Group for forty-one years 1970
  • Developed Kingsbrook apartment complex on I-10 in Houston 1964
  • Canoed regularly fifteen miles down Buffalo Bayou 1985
  • Witness to spacecraft Endeavor liftoff from Cape, Kennedy, Florida 1990
  • Selected One of Ten Outstanding Students at UH 1949
  • Shot pheasant for 15 years in England, Scotland and Ireland 1982 
  • Had his hip replaced 30 Years after a horseback accident 2000
  • Houston Chairman of March of Dimes Campaign 1954
  • Graduated first in his class at Naval Officers School 1951
  • Ran three miles daily with his best friend Jimmy Lyon for 20 years 1970
  • Escorted movie Star Gina Lolobrigida to an awards dinner 1982
  • Eisenhower Appointee, Five State Head of Civil Defense & FEMA 1956
  • Had 40 aunts and uncles and 67 first cousins 1939
  • Mother’s family entered Texas before the Civil War 1850
  • Board Member of the Greater Houston Partnership 2008
  • Testified before five Texas Legislative Committees 2009
  • Is a fourth generation Houstonian – his great grandkids are seventh 1869
  • To win a bet, he ate 17 pecan balls at River Oaks Country Club 1975
  • Beat prostate cancer after a year of radiation and hormone therapy 2007
  • Trapped 8 Days in a Boston hotel with 12 Feet of snow at the door 1978
  • Higher Education Chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership 2010
  • Discovered a high-rise fire, ran up 16 Floors to evacuate the residents 1975
  • Attended Catholic Mass at noon 7 days a week in Japan for 20 months 1951
  • Spent a night in a Tokyo geisha house, had to pay extra not to have a “friend” 1951
  • Board Member of AA White Dispute Resolution Institute 1997
  • Founding Chairman of the University of Houston Heritage Society 1988  
  • Hitchhiked in a bombardier seat of Air Corp B-26s all across America 1951 
  • Early Board Member, Houston Convention Bureau 1966
  • With a tank of gas and $40, spent three weeks in Mexico with his brother 1948 
  • Defense Battalion Commander in Yokosuka, Japan 1951 
  • Developed three Villa Marina apartment complexes in Galveston, Texas 1966
  • Has had kids or grandkids at Kinkaid School every semester for 48 Years 1963
  • Chairman for Astronaut Gordon Cooper’s Houston parade 1963
  • Business partner with Charlie Wilson of Charlie Wilson’s War 1963

 

 

 
 

For more information on Welcome Group or any of our office building and industrial property development services for single-tenant occupancy, call us at 713.952.7000 or email us.

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