Furr, Roy K. (1905–1975)

By: Jennifer L. Imle

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

Roy Furr, president of the Furr's chain of supermarkets and restaurants, was born in McKinney, Texas, in 1905. As a boy he worked for his father at the Kirkland Mercantile Company, in Kirkland. He studied at Clarendon Junior College and the University of Oklahoma. He taught school until 1923, when he rejoined his father in Amarillo and helped start the Furr Food Store. In 1929 he moved to Lubbock, where he bought six grocery stores, the beginning of the chain. Furr's, Incorporated, grew steadily, and at the time of the founder's death it included sixty-eight supermarkets, as well as family centers in three states, fifty-seven cafeterias in seven states, and a realty company in Lubbock. Furr was the chairman of the board of Farm Pac Kitchens, Rore Realty Company, and Crone Oil Company, all companies he formed as he branched out from his supermarket business. He also served as a director of the First National Bank of Lubbock. He was on the boards of regents of Texas Tech University, Lubbock Christian College, and McMurry College. In 1961 McMurry gave him an honorary doctorate. Furr thought that the highest honor he ever received was the Great Americanism Award, which he accepted in the early 1970s from radio personality Paul Harvey as a commendation for his outstanding achievement in philanthropic work. He raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various causes. Furr and his wife, Lela, had two sons and a daughter. Furr died on June 11, 1975, and was buried in Lubbock.

Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1977. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Time Periods:

  • Texas Post World War II
  • Texas in the 1920s

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Jennifer L. Imle, “Furr, Roy K.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 21, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/furr-roy-k.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995