1973 NAHB President George Clarke Martin Dies at 85
George Clarke Martin, the 1973 president of NAHB and an award-winning and innovative builder and designer who helped pioneer urban renewal housing, died on Monday, March 12, 2007. He was 85.
Within the federation, Martin, of Anchorage, Ky., also served as the president of the Home Builders Association of Lexington, the Home Builders Association of Louisville and the Home Builders Association of Kentucky.
He also was the founder and president of the Home Owners Warranty Corp. (HOW), which offered the nation's first warranty-insured homes.
A home builder for more than six decades, Martin earned more than 40 awards for innovative design and development, including being named American Home's Man of the Year in 1973. Seven years later, he was inducted into the National Housing Hall of Fame.
His pioneering urban renewal housing was featured in a 1961 cover story in House and Home magazine. In addition, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New Jersey Builders Association in 1973.
Born and raised in Lexington, Martin designed and built numerous subdivisions and private homes in the Lexington and Louisville areas, including Plantation, Gainesway, Briarwood, Thoroughbred Acres, Rolling Hills, Cress Brook, Todd's Trace, Park Place, Oldham Woods, Prospect Cove and Tates Creek Country Club. He also designed and built apartment communities in Nashville, Tenn. and Winter Park, Fla.
Martin’s interest in building stemmed from his grandfather, George Clarke of Lexington, who designed and built the Lexington courthouse, Buell Armory and Patterson Hall at the University of Kentucky.
Martin was a decorated Army Ranger who served during World War II. Active in politics, he worked on campaigns for President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, Sen. Edward Kennedy, R. Sargent Shriver, Gov. Jerry Brown of California and former Vice President Al Gore.
Martin is survived by his wife of 52 years, Georgann Elizabeth, three daughters and two grandchildren.