John P. Fishwick

John Palmer Fishwick was an American railroad executive and chief executive of Norfolk and Western Railway.

Born on September 29, 1916, in Roanoke, Virginia, John was a graduate of Jefferson High School downtown. Fishwick attended Roanoke College, where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order and served as editor of the College’s newspaper. He graduated in 1937 with a major in English and a minor in economics. Fishwick furthered his education at Harvard Law School, graduating in 1940. After completing law school, he worked as an associate with Cravath, Swaine & Moore before joining the Navy in 1942. Fishwick left the United States Navy as a lieutenant commander. After World War II, he joined Norfolk and Western in November 1945 and worked as assistant to the general counsel. In 1947, he was promoted to assistant general solicitor, and in 1951 he was promoted to assistant general counsel. In 1954, he was promoted yet again, this time to general solicitor. He served as general counsel until his promotion to chief executive in 1970.

He served as the chief executive of Norfolk and Western from 1970 to 1981. His leadership was integral in the merger with Southern Railway to create the current Norfolk Southern Railway. After his retirement, he became a partner with Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf until his retirement in 1986.

Mr. Fishwick died on August 9, 2010. On July 16, 2018, the Roanoke City School Board announced that Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Roanoke, VA would be renamed John P. Fishwick Middle School in his honor.

John P. Fishwick was inducted into the Southwest Virginia Business Hall of Fame in 1991.

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