Memorial services were held in Charlotte Monday for Thomas Storrs, the former chairman and chief executive of North Carolina National Bank who laid the groundwork for today's Bank of America Corp.
Storrs died Feb. 10 in Charlotte at the age of 93. No cause of death was given, according to news reports.
An economist by training, Storrs began his banking career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in 1934 and stayed with the bank for more than 25 years before joining North Carolina National Bank in 1960.
Storrs became CEO in 1974 and in that role he aggressively pushed for changes in federal laws that largely prohibited banks from expanding across state lines, according to various news accounts. Under Storrs, the bank took advantage of a quirk in Florida law to acquire a small bank in the state in 1982 and three years later the U.S. Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings that permitted banks in certain regions to move into other states.
Storrs retired in 1983 and handed the reins to Hugh McColl, who built the bank — later renamed NationsBank — into a regional and then national powerhouse culminating with its 1998 blockbuster merger with Bank of America.
After his retirement, Storrs remained active in civic affairs and continued to attend Bank of America annual meetings.
His predecessors, McColl, Ken Lewis and current Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan all attended Monday's memorial service, according to news accounts.
Storrs is survived by his wife of 63 years, Kitty, two children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.