Alfred W. Jones Jr. was born in Savannah on January 3, 1930, the son of Alfred W. Jones Sr., and Katharine Talbott Jones. He was reared on St. Simon’s Island. He graduated from the Millbrook School in New York in 1948, and the University of Georgia in 1952 with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics. In 1972 he graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1952-1955.
Alfred, Jr. married Betty Wray Macdonald on October 1, 1955, and they had three children: Anne, Alfred W. III (Bill), and James (Jim).
Mr. Jones spent his career at the Sea Island Company, founded in 1928 by his father Alfred W. Jones, Sr. and his cousin, auto magnate Howard Coffin. Mr. Jones, Jr., became Director and Assistant to the President in 1956, Vice President in 1961, President in 1966, and Chairman of the Board and President in 1980. He relinquished the job of President to his son, Bill Jones III, in 1993 before retiring from the company in 1997. At the Sea Island Company, Mr. Jones modernized the company’s operations and turned it into a resort with a worldwide reputation.
Mr. Jones was heavily involved with a number of philanthropic endeavors over the course of his life, including the Boy Scouts (for which he received the Silver Beaver Award), the Cumberland Island Historical Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the University of Georgia Foundation, and the United Way. He systematically made gifts of land for coastal churches to be built on land the company owned between historic Christ Church and Fort Frederica National Monument, including Wesley Memorial Garden across from Christ Church, Wesley UMC at Frederica, Christian Renewal Church, and Frederica Presbyterian Church. These gifts not only provided land for the churches but also secured the area around historic Christ Church and Fort Frederica. Mr. Jones loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman.
Alfred W. Jones, Jr., died on March 24, 2007, at age 77. His wife Betty died on June 25, 2016, age 86. They are buried at Christ Church Cemetery on St. Simon’s Island.
Bill Jones III established the A.W. Jones, Jr. Fund at the Georgia Historical Society in 2004 in honor of his father, ensuring that his commitment to Georgia history will continue in perpetuity.