The National Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the National Rivers Hall of Fame to those people who are making significant contributions to America’s waterways. The National Rivers Hall of Fame with members in 36 states is the only national museum telling the stories of the people of America’s rivers.
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Honored in 1987
Born at Daytona, Florida on August 1, 1917, David A. Wright attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a B.S. degree in Marine Transportation.
Following his graduation from M.I.T. in 1938, he worked for Standard Oil of New Jersey’s marine department. During World War II, he served for five years in the United States Navy, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Upon the death of his father in 1946, Mr. Wright became vice-president of Lake Tankers Inc., the forerunner of National Marine Service Incorporated. He was named company president in 1947, and later served as chairman of the Waterways Bulk Transportation Council.
In 1966, Mr. Wright moved the company headquarters from New York to St. Louis, and later was appointed Chairman of the Board in 1976. At the time of the National Marine merger with NICOR, the company’s fleet consisted of nineteen towboats. Wright retired in 1984. A devoted advocate of waterways development and an industry spokesman, Mr. Wright, who died in 2002, was a past Director of the National Waterways Foundation.