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  Lance, Thomas Bertram "Bert"
NameThomas Bertram "Bert" Lance
Calhoun, Georgia , United States
Born June 03, 1931
DiedAugust 15, 2013 (82 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedJuan Croniqueur
Nov 30, 2015 04:34am
Info"If it ain't broke don't fix it", is a North Georgian phrase that Bert Lance learned as a young boy and has often used as a practical working philosophy in his various banking and government positions.

Born on June 3, 1931, in Gainesville, Georgia, Bert Lance grew up in Young Harris, Georgia. His father, Dr. Thomas Jackson Lance, was president of Young Harris College, a Methodist institution.

After graduating from Calhoun High School, Mr. Lance received his college education from the University of Georgia and Emory University. He later did graduate work at the L.S.U. School of Banking of the South and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

He married the former Labelle David on September 9, 1950 and the following year, at the age of 20, began his banking career as a $90.00 a month teller at the Calhoun National Bank. In 1958, after he and a group of associates acquired controlling interest of the bank, he became a vice president. In 1963, Mr. Lance was named president and chief executive officer at the age of 32. In 1974, he was elected chairman of the board serving in that capacity until early 1986.

Bert Lance provided direction for the economic growth of Gordon County with innovative ways for agribusiness and industry.

In 1970, he was elected Director of the Georgia State Highway Department. Reorganizing that department, Mr. Lance achieved a significant reduction in the total number of employees and improved the method of awarding contracts. He held the position of Commissioner of the DOT from January of 1971 to March of 1973. He was a candidate for Governor of Georgia in 1974.

In January 1975, he was named President of the National Bank of Georgia.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Mr. Lance to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget in January 1977. As director of the national budget, he favored an economically responsible approach to government spending and adopted a policy of operating OMB in a hard-nosed, businesslike and efficient manner. One of his major goals as Director was a balanced federal budget. By reducing the growth of government with its excessive controls and regulations, Mr. Lance believed that the free enterprise system would be greatly strengthened and viable.

An acknowledged leader in support of this free enterprise system, he served as Chairman of the Chair of Private Enterprise at Georgia State University, the first project of its kind in the United States.

A long-time participant in civic, educational, and church affairs, Bert Lance is the founding Chairman and member of the Board of Governors of the Atlanta Community Service Awards, Inc. He has been active in the United Way, the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Atlanta, the American Cancer Society, and the National Jewish Hospital. He has served as a Director of the American Cancer Society, member of the Advisory Council of Georgia State University, a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Georgia, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Reinhardt College, a trustee of the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges, and a member of the Committee of One Hundred at Emory University.

Mr. and Mrs. Lance are active members of The Calhoun First United Methodist Church, and Mr. Lance served as a Georgia delegate to the Methodist Convocation in Dallas, Texas.

Mr. Lance's current activities include frequent speaking engagements to various organizations, schools and churches, and the handling of private business interests that require considerable travel in the United States and foreign countries. In September, 1982, he was elected Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia. Mr. Lance served as Chairman until July 1985.



Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 0.00000 Average


  01/21/1977 OMB Director Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  08/13/1974 GA Governor - D Primary Lost 17.20% (-19.11%)
US President - D Primaries - Jul 01, 1988 D Jesse L. Jackson
US President - D Primaries - Jul 01, 1984 DFL Walter F. "Fritz" Mondale
US President - D Primaries - Jul 01, 1976 D Jimmy Carter