Drayton McLane Jr.

Drayton McLane Jr., Businessman, Philanthropist
McLane Group

DRAYTON MCLANE, JR. serves as chairman of the McLane Group and is the former CEO of the Houston Astros Baseball Club. A native Texan, this acclaimed businessman, leader, and generous philanthropist, ensures the focus of all his endeavors are based upon strong Christian values and moral ethics.

The grandson of a successful entrepreneur, Drayton experienced firsthand the hard work and dedication it takes to successfully thrive in industry. He began developing his tireless work ethic at age nine by working for his father at the family’s wholesale grocery business, the McLane Company. Mr. McLane received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baylor University in 1958 and his Master of Business Administration degree from Michigan State University in 1959. Upon completion of his formal education, Drayton came back to begin working at the family business loading trucks on the second shift. He worked his way up and by earning the respect and admiration of his co-workers, he became president and CEO of the company in 1964 and held these positions for thirty years.

During his tenure, he propelled the McLane Company into a nineteen billion dollar company, achieving an average growth rate of thirty percent per year. Following the McLane Company’s merger with Wal-Mart, Inc. in 1990, he became vice-chairman of Wal-Mart while maintaining his position at the McLane Company. After playing key roles in each of these companies’ growth and productivity, he resigned in order to devote more time to the McLane Group, a parent company consisting of family owned companies operating throughout the world, which until November of 2011 included the Houston Astros where he served as Chairman and CEO. Drayton McLane completed his nineteenth season with the Astros in 2011 when he sold the team. Over the years, their philosophy remained consistent – bring home a World Series championship to Houston and make a positive difference in the community. They were unable to bring home a championship, but they were the first Texas team to make it to the World Series and they also made a very positive difference in the community.

Current Activities:

  • George and Barbara Bush Foundation Trustee 2017 (George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation)
  • Board of Trustees, Baylor Scott & White Healthcare (2013 – present)
  • Baylor Scott & White Assurance Board
  • Member, National Board of Governors, Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research
  • Advisory Board, The Bush School of Government & Public Service – Texas A&M University
  • Board of Trustees, Baylor College of Medicine (Emeritus)
  • Board of Visitors, The University Cancer Foundation, M.D. Anderson
  • MD Anderson Cancer Prevention Committee – 2021

Past Activities:

  • Board Director, Happy State Bank
  • Chairman, Texas Economic Development Corporation (TxEDC) 2019 – 2021
  • Chairman, Texas Central Partners (High Speed Rail) 2017 – 2021
  • Baylor University Board of Regents, Chairman Emeritus 2010 to 2020
  • Chairman, Board of Trustees, Baylor Scott & White Healthcare
  • Chairman, Scott & White Healthcare Board of Trustees
  • Chairman of the Board, Temple Chamber of Commerce, 1978
  • President, Baylor University Development Council, 1981
  • Chairman, United Way Campaign, Temple, Texas, 1983-1984
  • Member Texas State Board, Mental Health and Mental Retardation, 1985-1989
  • Chairman, United Way, Temple, Texas, 1987
  • Trustee, Baylor University, 1988-1990
  • Member, Baylor Board of Regents, 1991-2006
  • Honorary Campaign Chairman, United Way, Temple, Texas, 1991
  • Vice-Chairman & Director, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, 1990-1994
  • Vice President at Large, Boy Scouts of America National Board
  • Chairman of the Board, Children’s Miracle Network 1993-1994
  • Chairman, Pacesetter Campaign – United Way, Gulf Coast-Houston, 1994-1997
  • Chairman of the Board of Regents, Baylor University, 2002-2004
  • Executive Committee Member, Major League Baseball, 1995-2011
    Board Director, Greater Houston Partnership, 1994-2000 & 2002-2008
  • Chairman, Board of Trustees, Scott & White Memorial Hospital, 2001-2013
  • Chairman, Opportunity Houston 1.0 and 2.0
  • Board member Heart of Texas Defense Alliance, 2013 – 2019


  • Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award Recipient, 1985
  • Management Excellence & Achievement Award-University of Georgia, School of Business, 1985
  • Arthur Young/VENTURE Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year, 1987
  • Boy Scouts of America Silver Antelope Award, 1988
  • Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award, H.O.T. Council, 1989
  • American Achiever Award, National American Wholesale Grocers Assoc, 1990
  • Baylor University, Distinguished Alumni Award, 1990
  • Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith Food Distributor, Man of the Year, New York City, 1990
  • Baylor University, W.R. White Meritorious Service Award, 1991
  • Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation Honoree, 1992
  • Texas A&M University, College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Business, Master Entrepreneur of the Year, 1993
  • Michigan State University, Honorary Doctorate Degree, 1997
  • American Academy of Achievement – Golden Plate Award, 1997
  • Distributors International Herbert Hoover Food Industry Award, 1998
  • Houston Community Partners, Father of the Year Award, 2000
  • Boy Scouts of America Silver Buffalo Award Recipient, 2004
  • NASA’s Public Service Award, 2005
  • The International Society of Logistics (SOLE) Field Award for Supply Chain Mgmt, 2006
  • Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, 2008
  • University of St. Thomas, Ethical Leadership Award, 2008
  • Dallas Baptist University, Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Award, 2008
  • Baylor University Regent Emeritus, 2010
  • Austin College, Honorary Doctorate Degree, 2011
  • Texas Transportation Hall of Honor Inductee, 2011
  • Central Texas Association of Fundraising Professional’s Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012
  • Baylor University Founders Award, 2013
  • Mirabeau B. Lamar Award – For Higher Education, 2013
  • Texas Healthcare Trustees Founders Award, 2013
  • Sports Hall of Fame, Lamar Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014
  • Cooper Institute, Legacy Award, 2017

Drayton and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Temple, Texas. They are proud parents and grandparents. They have two sons, Drayton McLane, III and Denton McLane. Drayton III and wife Amy have three sons, and Denton and his wife Amy, have two sons. They are members of the First Baptist Church of Belton..