Former Madison Mayor Glenn Oakes Head pursued his interests with passion, whether piloting airplanes, overseeing a company with billions of dollars in assets or leading the Madison Board of Education.
The retired chairman and major shareholder of First Investors Consolidated Corporation, a national financial services firm based in New York City, and former school board president, died Sept. 14, according to his obituary. He was 87.
Head served a three-year term as mayor starting in 1972. He ran for the office after serving as president of the Madison Board of Education.
Head was hired by First Investors in 1962 to start a life insurance company, which became First Investors Life. Head and a partner then bought FICC through a leveraged buy-out in 1968. The company, which had $55 million in assets when they bought it, had $6.6 billion in assets when he retired in 2004.
Growing up in Springfield, Ill., Head worked on the floor of a Dr. Pepper bottling plant and setting up bowling pins at a local bowling alley. Known for taking risks and seizing his interests with passion, he once won a bet by taking apart a car engine and putting it back together again. He earned his commercial pilot's license. And he owned farms in Bluffs, Ill., eventually creating his own computer software to manage the farms' accounting, his obituary says.
Head was a dominant tennis player, and designed and built a house on the island of Nantucket. He is survived by his wife, Carol Atwood, and their five children.