For those who didn’t know Jack or his associates, former IBM marketing executive Robert Babcock has penned a biography on John W. “Jack Henry,” the pioneering core banking entrepreneur whose software and services are now used by nearly 9,000 U.S. institutions.
“You Don’t Know Jack or Jerry” dives into the risky and heady days of when Henry – fresh from being laid off following a banking merger – joined with partner Jerry Hall with a truly do-it-yourself business running out of a old machine shop in Purdy, MO. The pair capitalized on the idea to sell outsourced data processing, or service bureau, services to smaller institutions, and decided to run the business out of rural Monet, MO (taking advantage of the central location for easier access to clients coast-to-coast). In the first few years of the company, it was a hands-on operation: visitors were as likely to find Henry mowing the lawn at company headquarters as they would behind a desk, according to former colleagues. While he was no longer serving day-to-day, Henry was still serving as a vice chairman of the firm when he died in April 2007 at age 71.
Babcock’s book is being published by Deeds Publishing.