Patrick E. Quinn, co-founder, co-chairman, and president of truckload carrier U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc. and one of the giants of the trucking industry for the past 25 years, died Tuesday after a year-long battle with brain cancer, the company said. He was 65.
Quinn, who began his 40-year trucking career as an attorney, co-founded Chattanooga, Tenn.-based U.S. Xpress in 1985 with business partner Max Fuller. Fuller, who still serves as co-chairman, assumed most of Quinn's duties when he was diagnosed early this year.
Since 1985, U.S. Xpress has grown from a 48-truck startup operation to become the nation's second-largest privately owned truckload carrier, with 8,500 trucks and more than 10,000 employees.
Quinn was a leading advocate for the trucking industry, serving as chairman of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) between 2005 and 2007, and chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association from 2001 to 2002. As a charter member of ATA's Image & Communications Committee, Quinn helped to develop the plan for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, which has become an annual event celebrating the work of truck drivers throughout the country.
In his term as ATA chairman, Quinn was appointed by then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, which held meetings and hearings for two years to discuss the future of the nation's infrastructure.
"U.S. Xpress is very proud of all the work that Pat did on behalf of our industry. Pat became a respected voice on a variety of transportation-related issues," said Fuller in a statement. "To me, Pat was more than a friend. He was a true partner and, most importantly to me, Pat was family. Pat left an indelible mark on U.S. Xpress and our industry. He will be missed."
Quinn is survived by his wife of 43 years, Anna Marie, three children, and seven grandchildren. His oldest daughter, Lisa Pate, currently serves as executive vice president and general counsel for U.S. Xpress. His son, Brian, is the vice president and general manager of its international business unit.