Early Career

Still only twenty-two, after his honorable discharge Greene took a position as athletic supervisor for Tennessee-Eastman Corporation in Kingsport, Tennessee. There he met his future wife, Sarah Virginia Jessee of Lebanon, Virginia. Following his tenure at Tennessee-Eastman Corporation, the couple moved to Greensville, South Carolina, where he became a partner in a private business college. There he discovered his true calling was in academia, asserting “no athletic program could stimulate my imagination as much as teaching.”


Portrait of Joseph A. Greene, Jr. as young professional, c 1940.

By 1949, he was concluding his doctorate in economics at the University of Virginia when he was invited to return to that “small college on the outskirts of Hattiesburg” to develop a business program.