John Ed Anthony was born in Camden, AR and raised in various sawmill towns throughout both east Texas and south Arkansas. During his teenage years, he worked in the Anthony family’s mills, learning the essentials of sawmill management through experience.
John Ed earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas in 1961. Later that year, following the sudden death of his father, Edwin “Ted” Anthony, John Ed returned to south Arkansas, taking over management of the family’s scattered timberland and sawmill holdings. In 1971, John Ed formed Anthony Timberlands, Inc. (ATI), consolidating the various family trusts, partnerships, and corporations under the ATI umbrella.
During his tenure as President of ATI, John Ed oversaw the expansion of Anthony family land holdings, modernization of the pine sawmill at Bearden, Arkansas, as well as the purchase of a pine sawmill at Malvern, Arkansas, and a hardwood sawmill at Beirne, Arkansas. Additionally, he led the formation of Anthony Hardwood Composites in Sheridan, Arkansas, and Anthony Wood Treating at Hope, Arkansas.
In 2004, John Ed stepped down as President of ATI and into his new role as Chairman of the Board. As Chairman, he remains an essential part of key operational decisions and all land and timber procurement activities for ATI and its affiliates. For these accomplishments, in 2012, John Ed was elected into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame by the University of Arkansas’s Sam M. Walton College of Business.
In addition to his career with ATI, John Ed has operated a nationally recognized thoroughbred horse racing and breeding operation, first under the name Loblolly Stable and later Shortleaf Stable. His horses have been honored with three national Eclipse Awards. John Ed is a member of the New York Jockey Club, and in 2001, he was elected to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.