Newly inducted Tire Industry Hall of Fame recipient Harold Coker died on Nov. 16. He was 84 years old.
Born in Cherokee, N.C. on Christmas Eve 1929, Coker grew up in Athens, Tenn. He received an associate degree in chemical engineering from Wesleyan College and graduated from Tennessee Technical University with a bachelor of science in chemistry.
Coker started his career in the tire industry with B.F. Goodrich before founding Coker Tire Co. in 1958. He retired from active participation in the business in 2004, but served as chairman of the board emeritus for the company.
Coker also served as president of the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association in 1985. During his tenure, he spearheaded the effort to get the NTDRA into government affairs and lobbied for bills like voluntary tire registration. He was also instrumental in starting and raising money for the association’s PAC. Additionally, Coker was also chairman of the committee to establish Money Express, a credit card exclusively for tire dealers nationwide.
Outside the tire business, Coker served in the National Guard and was active in the Republican Party. He served as Hamilton County Commissioner from 1982 to 2002. Additionally, Coker was active at Woodland Park Baptist Church.
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