E. Bronson Ingram, who built his family's troubled barge operation into one of the largest private companies in the country with diversified interests, died in June 1995 his home in Nashville. He was 63.
Mr. Ingram and his brother Frederic built the small barge company their father founded in the 1940's into a large business that included energy interests as well as a small unit that distributed textbooks to schools.
In 1976, the Ingram brothers were indicted on Federal charges, accusing them of having paid more than $1 million in kickbacks to Government officials in Illinois to get a $43 million contract to haul sludge.
Bronson Ingram was acquitted on all charges, but Frederic was convicted and served 16 months in prison before President Jimmy Carter commuted his sentence.
After the verdict in 1977, the brothers agreed to split the company. Bronson Ingram took the barge and book operations, which he named Ingram Industries.
Today, Ingram Industries is the dominant middleman in the book business, distributing books from publishers to bookstores and is the leading distributor of microcomputer software and hardware and videos to retailers. The company still has a barge business, energy interests and an insurance division.
Erskine Bronson Ingram was born in 1931, in St. Paul. He attended Vanderbilt University before graduating from Princeton in 1953, and he served two years as a lieutenant in the Navy.
Mr. Ingram was a Vanderbilt trustee for many years, and became president of the university's board in 1991.
Besides his brother Frederic, who lives in Beverly Hills, Calif., Mr. Ingram is survived by his wife, Martha Robinson Rivers Ingram; a daughter, Robin Ingram Patton; three sons, Orrin Henry, John Rivers and David Bronson, all of Nashville; two sisters, Alice Ingram Hooker and Patricia Ingram Hart, both of Nashville, and two grandsons.more » « less