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John B.M. Place: 1926-2015

Fri Nov 27th, 2015

John B.M. Place, a longtime Millbrook resident prominent in banking, industry, and community affairs, has passed away at the age of 89. 

In Millbrook, Mr. Place enjoyed tennis, foxhunting and shooting. He was past President of the Millbrook Hunt and the Millbrook Golf & Tennis Club, where he still holds the record for Carey Cup victories (12 times). 

A graduate of St. Paul’s School, Concord, NH in 1943, and a World War II veteran, Mr. Place started his career in 1948 as a management-trainee with the Chase National Bank. Mr. Place rose to the highest ranks of the Bank (which, by then, had become Chase Manhattan) where he led the US Department; ultimately, as Vice Chairman, he led all domestic and international operations.  

He left the Bank in 1971 to become President and Chief Executive Officer of the copper mining company, Anaconda, and soon thereafter was named Chairman of the Board. He joined Anaconda just after the company's largest mine, Chuquicamata, was nationalized by the Chilean government. In 1973, he and Vice-Chairman William Quigley successfully negotiated the $250 million payout over time by the Chilean government for the nationalized mine. In 1977, he negotiated the sale of Anaconda to Atlantic Richfield and became Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of the parent company Atlantic Richfield.  

In 1978, Mr. Place joined California’s Crocker National Bank as President; he assumed the additional roles of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board in 1982. 
Throughout his career Mr. Place also served on many other corporate boards, including Celanese Corporation, Chemical New York Corporation, Chemical Bank, Communications Satellite Corporation, Lever Brothers, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Midland Bank, Pacific Gas & Electric, Tandem Computers and Union Pacific Corporation.

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Mr. Place devoted significant energy to many community, not-for-profit, and academic concerns. He held board and trustee positions at varied organizations, including The United Way of the Bay Area and the United Way of California, the American Red Cross of the Bay Area, the World Affairs Council Corporation, Santa Clara University, the Spence and Miss Porter’s School(s). He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees at Pace University and the Colorado School of Mines.      
Mr. Place is survived by his wife, the former Katharine Smart, and his three children John Place, Jr. Marian R. Place and Judith Place Sloan.    

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in the memory of John Place to:

St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley
47 Church Road
Malvern, PA 19355