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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Jefferson-Pilot Corporation

by Alexander R. Stoesen, 2006

Advertisement for the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company in the 1917 Turner's North Carolina Almanac.The Jefferson-Pilot Corporation is one of the largest shareholder-owned life insurance companies in the United States. During the first decade of the twentieth century, ten insurance companies were incorporated in Greensboro, the strongest of which was Security Life Insurance Company. At the same time, Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company was founded in Raleigh, although by 1912 the company had depleted its surplus by paying excessive commissions to its agents. Security Life acquired the Raleigh firm and the new company created by the merger retained the name Jefferson Standard. Under the leadership of Julian W. Price, the company doubled its capital stock to $1 million by 1926. It survived the Great Depression by issuing policies designed to "meet the times" with a graduated payment scale that enabled people to hold on to their policies. Dividends continued to be paid, and the company continued buying bonds and lending money. It came to be considered one of Greensboro's depression-proof industries.

By 1950 Jefferson Standard's capital stock was valued at $15 million, and its total assets were $265 million. The company became Jefferson-Pilot Corporation in 1968 when a holding company was formed out of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, Pilot Life Insurance Co., and Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Co. By 1980 Jefferson-Pilot's assets topped $1 billion. Despite one record year after another during the next decade, the presidency of W. Roger Soles, which had begun in 1967, was embroiled in controversy as several stockholders led by Julian Price descendant Louise Price Parsons crusaded to oust Soles for "mismanagement." An acrimonious dispute lasted from May 1991 until April 1993 and included a series of bitter courtroom episodes and turbulent stockholders meetings. The dispute was settled with the retirement of Soles, the implementation of a mandatory retirement age of 65 for officers, and a 20 percent reduction in the size of the board.

David Stonecipher of Atlanta took office as president of Jefferson-Pilot in April 1993. Stonecipher called for the company to double its life insurance sales and return to its roots of selling insurance. In a series of mergers, Jefferson-Pilot acquired Kentucky Central Life Insurance Company, Alexander Hamilton Life Insurance Company, Chubb Life Insurance Company, and Guarantee Life Insurance Company. By 1995 it was the second-fastest-growing insurance company and the fifteenth-largest life insurer in the United States. In January 1998 the company adopted Jefferson-Pilot Financial as its brand name to reflect its position as a "national company with financial savvy." By 2002 Jefferson-Pilot had 3,770 employees, and its companies had more than $210 billion of life insurance in force. One of its best-known subsidiaries, Jefferson-Pilot Communications Company, in 2004 owned 3 television stations and 18 radio stations in the Southeast. Jefferson-Pilot Corporation underwent a merger with Lincoln National Corporation in April 2006, with the new company operating under the name Lincoln Financial Group.

Additional Resources:

Rodengen, Jeffrey L. Jefferson Pilot Financial, 1903-2003: A Century of Excellence. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Write Stuff Enterprises, Inc., 2003.

Image Credits:

Advertisement for the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company in Turner's North Carolina Almanac. Raleigh, N.C.: Times Publishing Company, 1917. p 2.

Origin - location: 

Comments

Comment: 

I hope I understand this correctly, Jefferson- Pilot Company bought Kentucky Central Life Insurance Company. I just discovered that my deceased father purchased 120 shares from Kentucky Central Life Insurance Company. From 1963 to 1967. I have the certificates, are they worth anything?

Comment: 

Hello David,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia! 

This is an article with historical information about the Jefferson Pilot Company, and unfortunately we are not able to help you with your question.  You will need to contact the company directly.  We understand that the company is now called Lincoln Financial Group and here is the link to their website: https://www.lfg.com.

Molly Goldston, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

My husband purchased a $1000 policy in the 1950's. I have the policy # but cannot find anyone to give me further information as to current validity, etc. Thanks for you help.

Comment: 

Hello Evelyn,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia.

NCpedia is an online encyclopedia of North Carolina information and this is a page with historical information about the Jefferson Pilot Company, and unfortunately we are not able to help you directly with your question.  You will need to contact the company.  We understand that the company is now called Lincoln Financial Group and here is the link to their website -- https://www.lfg.com/LincolnPageServer?LFGPage=/lfg/lfgclient/index.html.

Best Wishes

Elizabeth Hayden- NC Government and Heritage Library

Comment: 

Is there available information on the agency in Germany in the mid 1960's.
I would appreciate any assistance you have in your files.
JPB

Comment: 

My father has a a policy from Pilot life Insurance Company of Greensboro, NC. dated October, 1958. The policy appears to be paid up and has an anniversary date to be paid. Whom would I contact for more information.

Comment: 

My mother had in her position a will dated 8-1-1953. She is departed aoproximately1987. I can look up the exact date if the policy #381611 is still valid?

Comment: 

Hello,

Please note this is not Pilot Life. The company is now known as the Lincoln Fincancial Group and their website is at https://www.lfg.com/public/individual.

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library

Comment: 

Please advise on status of policies owned by my mother, Elizabeth R. Sloan: 454370 and 721731

Comment: 

My late parents had 2 or 3 life insurance policies for me. The face value of each was $500. The insurance man used to come by our house to collect the premiums. The policies were issued in the early 1950's. I was born in 1951. They were with pilot Life. When my father died in the 2004, I couldn't find these policies. My mother had died in 1997. Would these policies still be. Good. How can I find out more?

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