The Stokes Family – An RJR Heritage
My grandfather, H. S. Stokes was the first college graduate hired by Mr. R.J. to come and work for “The Company” in 1900. He stayed for forty-eight years and became a member of the Board of Directors. My father started his career in 1935 and retired in 1979. I started in 1973 and retired in 2003. This span of time covered over 100 years with a Stokes employed by RJR continuously.[i]
Growing up I could see the love for RJR from my grandfather and father. I always wanted to work there. Both men were good Christian men that I looked up to frequently.
Memorable Events at RJR
As for accolades, well, let’s leave those to others. I have biased opinions you know.[i]
As you know from working there, the Company had a lot of good, good people. It was a joy to work there even if there were trying days. I miss the folks!
[i] 120 Years of total service with RJR.
[i]Henry Stokes opinions about his father may be biased, but they are universally shared by the people who worked with Colin Stokes. Joe Abely, RJR’s CFO stated it well at Mr. Stokes’ retirement, “I never met a man with this much power who was affected by it so little.” This is a compliment that can rarely be paid, and Mr. Stokes deserved it.
This is a response to a request for comments on Colin Stokes, RJR’s CEO from to his son Henry. He reflects the humility of his father in these comments about the Company. The days in America are long past when three generations will work loyally for the same company for a span of more than a hundred years, and our country is the poorer for it. GAH