Former Yellow Corp. boss dies at 80

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — George E. Powell Jr., who turned a drowning Overland Park trucking company into one of the biggest LTL fleets in North America has died at 80 years old.

Powell was the chairman of Yellow Freight System Inc. He was with the company for 40 years, being named president in 1957. He retired as chairman in 1996.

Today, Yellow is YRC Worldwide Inc., named so after a landmark acquisition of rival Roadway Express a few years ago. Since then, it has become one of the largest LTL and logistics companies in the world, and is one of the few carriers to operate in China.

“It’s fair to say YRC Worldwide would not exist if it hadn’t been for Mr. Powell,” YRC’s chairman and CEO Bill Zollars told the Kansas City Star. “It was under his leadership that the company took off and began to expand.”

Powell and his father, along with a group of investors, bought Yellow Transit Co. out of bankruptcy in 1952. The company excelled in the years after deregulation to become one of the biggest LTL networks in the U.S. and Canada.

— with files from the Kansas City Star

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