Atlanta businessman and philanthropist J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman emeritus of Trammell Crow Residential Co., has been selected to receive a Horatio Alger Award.
The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Inc. made the announcement Monday.
The award recognizes business and civic leaders who have a commitment to philanthropy and higher education.
Horatio Alger was a 19th-century American author who wrote about impoverished youths who rose to prominence from humble backgrounds. Terwilliger, a Virginia native, began working at age 12 to help support his family despite suffering from a spinal condition. He later excelled in sports and academics before beginning a successful business career.
Terwilliger spent 23 years as chief executive officer of Trammell Crow Residential, a major developer of multifamily housing, before retiring in 2009. The Navy veteran and Harvard Business School graduate was a former president of Sea Pines Plantation Co. and former chief financial officer of Henry C. Beck Co. before joining Trammell Crow as a partner in 1980.
Terwilliger has donated a $100 million legacy gift to Habitat for Humanity International to help improve housing for 60,000 families. He is chairman of Habitat’s Global Capital Campaign.
He and 11 other Horatio Alger Award recipients will be inducted in April during a ceremony in Washington. Among the other recipients are Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and David Cote, chairman and chief executive officer of Honeywell.
Past Georgia recipients have included baseball great Hank Aaron (1978), Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy (1989), builder Herman J. Russell (1991), former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain (1996), CNN and Turner Broadcasting System founder Ted Turner (1997) and retired Coca-Cola Chairman M. Douglas Ivester (1999).