Memphis business leader Thomas Garrott dies at 84

Cindy Apt
Thomas Garrott

Thomas McMurry Garrott, a business-and-finance innovator who expanded the Memphis-based National Bank of Commerce into a major institution and who earned recognition as the “father of supermarket banking,” died Wednesday at the age of 84.

Garrott, whose health had received numerous setbacks in recent years, died at Baptist Memorial Hospital of pneumonia, according to his wife, Allison Garrott. The couple had been married 60 years.

“He was a real business leader, no doubt about it,” said Larry Jensen, chairman of Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors.

Jensen labeled Garrott a “mentor.”

“Tom was not a passive manager,” Jensen said. “He was an innovator and a creative and demanding leader.”

At the end of 1982, Garrott was named president of what was then known as the National Bank of Commerce.

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