Horatio Alger Award

Palm Springs Businessman and Philanthropist Randall Dee Hubbard Designated for Prestigious Horatio Alger Award - Class of 2014


Horatio Alger Association honored 12 prominent leaders who have demonstrated courage, fortitude and character in pursuing personal and professional success despite significant personal adversity

Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Randall Dee Hubbard, chairman and managing director of BIGHORN Golf Club, was inducted as a Member of this prestigious Association next spring. Mr. Hubbard joins eleven other outstanding business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor. Since its inception in 1947, this annual award has recognized exceptional leaders - all with a commitment to philanthropy and higher education - who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve success.  


A native of Smith Center, KS, Mr. Hubbard was born the youngest of eight children to hardworking parents who owned an icehouse. He frequently worked as a delivery boy during his childhood until the advent of electric refrigerators after World War II ended the era of the icehouse. Turning his attention to education, Mr. Hubbard was an excellent athlete and earned a scholarship to Butler County Community College where he received an associate's degree. From there, he was a teacher and a basketball coach until embracing his entrepreneurial spirit in 1959 when he became a glass salesman. Working for Safelite, Mr. Hubbard rose to become general manager and ultimately president, a role in which he owned 20 percent of the company. By 1978, Mr. Hubbard was ready to strike out on his own, leaving Safelite and forming AFG Industries, Inc. In just a decade, he built AFG Industries, Inc. into a Fortune 500 company. Turning his attention to real estate, Mr. Hubbard helped to establish Bighorn Development, an exclusive residential development and private golf club in California in 1990. Six years later, Mr. Hubbard spearheaded its full acquisition and the acquisition of adjoining land for a second 18-hole golf course. Mr. Hubbard currently serves as chairman and managing director of BIGHORN Golf Club.


"R.D. Hubbard has a story that Horatio Alger, Jr., himself would have written," said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient. "He not only demonstrates abiding strong work ethic but his support for higher education, which was informed by his time as a teacher, is an inspiration. We are deeply pleased to welcome him as a lifetime Member, and we look forward to working with him to provide opportunities for deserving students across the country."
Philanthropically, Mr. Hubbard formed the R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing and improving educational opportunities for students of all ages. He also founded the Shoemaker Foundation, named for the legendary jockey, Willie Shoemaker, to help raise funds for horsemen suffering from catastrophic accidents or illnesses.


Regarding the Horatio Alger Award, Mr. Hubbard commented, "It is a wonderful honor to be inducted into Horatio Alger Association and to be recognized for not only my professional accomplishments but the humble beginnings that shaped my character. I believe in the power of hard work, determination and having passion for what you do in your career. I am proud to become a Member of an organization that not only believes in those same principles but helps to instill them in young Americans."  


Mr. Hubbard and his cohort was officially inducted as Members during the Association's annual three-day induction ceremonies, which will be held in Washington, D.C. in April 2014. In addition to honoring these outstanding leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also recognize its 2014 National Scholarship recipients, providing an opportunity for Scholars and Members to meet and exchange stories of their respective perseverance and success.