M. Anthony Burns

IntroAmerican businessman
Is Priest 
From United States of America 
Type Religion 
Birth 1 November 1942 
Age78 years
Star signScorpio
Brigham Young University
University of California
Haas School of Business

M. Anthony Burns (born November 1, 1942) is an American businessman and chairman emeritus of the board of directors of Ryder System, Inc., an American-based provider of transportation and supply chain management products. He currently serves as managing owner/chairman of Red Ledges Land Development, Inc. in Heber City, Utah, and as a member of the boards of directors of Pfizer Inc. and Huntsman Corporation. He is a life trustee of the University of Miami Board of Trustees.

Personal life and education

Burns was born on Nov. 1, 1942 in Mesquite, Nevada. He attended Dixie State University (then Dixie State College) in nearby St. George, Utah on a baseball scholarship and then transferred to Brigham Young University. He received a B.S. in 1964 from Brigham Young University and an MBA in 1965 from the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Burns is married to the former Joyce Jordan. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Burns is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and has served in leadership roles in the church including bishop and stake president. He recently served as an area seventy in the church’s Sixth Quorum of the Seventy.

Burns was serving as an LDS Church bishop in Miami when Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, destroying much of his neighborhood. With extensive destruction surrounding him, Burns went out to the front lines and joined the work crews in repairing roofs. He also made the lobby of Ryder’s corporate headquarters available to United Way. Making many donations such as food and clothing to charitable agencies, Burns also provided Ryder’s trucks to people who needed to transport themselves and possessions to safer, drier places. With his approval, Ryder also donated $2.5 million to rebuild the Miami-Dade County after Hurricane Andrew’s destruction and allowed Ryder employees to work half days at the company and half days in the rescue effort. Burns was recognized as the American Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year for this work following Hurricane Andrew.


Burns joined the Ryder finance organization in 1974, and in 1979 was elected Ryder’s president and COO. He was later elected CEO in January 1983 and chairman of the board of directors in May 1985. He retired from his position with Ryder Systems in 2002. Throughout his tenure, Burns helped Ryder to grow from $500 million in revenue to more than $5 billion.

When Burns joined Ryder in 1974, the company primarily focused on truck leasing and rental, owning a fleet of about 50,000 vehicles and employing 13,000 workers in three countries. At Burns’ retirement in 2002, Ryder had a fleet of more than 170,000 vehicles for commercial truck leasing and rental, had 30,000 employees in more than a dozen countries on four continents and had expanded into logistics.

Before joining Ryder, Burns was the Controller for North America at Mobil Oil Corporation.

He formerly served on the board of directors of J. P. Morgan Chase & Co., Stanley Black & Decker and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. and was chairman of the audit committee for all three. Burns also served as the director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Chamber’s Services Industries Council.

Burns also served on the national boards of United Way of America, American Red Cross, National Urban League and Boy Scouts of America, as well as on the Board of the Directors of the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. He is an honorary trustee and former chairman of the National Urban League. He also served as the co-chairman of The Business Roundtable and chairman of its Health and Retirement Task Force, as a member of the Business-Higher Education Forum, as a member of The Business Council, and on The Coca-Cola Company’s task force on human resource issues.

In the south Florida community, Burns was chairman of the Capital Campaign for the Performing Arts Center of Greater Miami and formerly served as board chairman and campaign chairman of the United Way of Miami-Dade County and president of the South Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Burns has also served on the national advisory council of the School of Management of Brigham Young University, the board of visitors of the Graduate School of Business Administration of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the board of overseers of the Wharton School. He was an associate trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.


Burns has led many humanitarian, cultural, civic and industry endeavors throughout his career, especially in the Miami-Dade area of south Florida.

Notably, Burns chaired the capital campaign for the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts for 17 years, leading an effort that raised $415 million (including more than $1 million that he personally gave). While at Ryder, he oversaw donations for the construction of the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital and the Ryder Center Arena (now the BankUnited Center) at the University of Miami, and he coordinated Ryder’s sponsorship of the Doral Ryder Open for 16 years.

He also created scholarship funds at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, which to date have provided more than 100 scholarships, and has endowed four scholarships each at Wasatch High School in Heber City, Utah, and Virgin Valley High School in Mesquite, Nev.

Several facilities, centers and other education resources at various institutions are named in honor of M. Anthony Burns in recognition of donations or other assistance during construction:

  • The Burns Arena at Dixie State University
  • The Joyce and M. Anthony Burns Science Building at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, Florida
  • The Burns Green Room at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida
  • The M. Anthony Burns Center for Advanced Supply Chain Management at the University of Miami
  • The M. Anthony Burns/Ryder System Inc. Endowed Teaching Chair at Miami Dade College



Burns has been awarded the Jay W. Weiss Humanitarian Award by the Jackson Memorial Foundation, the Robert W. Laidlaw Humanitarian Award by the Epilepsy Foundation of South Florida, the Sand In My Shoes award by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and the Community Service Award by the Advertising Federation of Greater Miami.


Burns was named CEO of the decade in Transportation: Freight & Leasing by Financial World and is a three-time recipient of CEO of the Year in Transportation: Freight & Leasing. He was also named the International Executive of the Year by the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University and Business Leader of the Century by Brigham Young University—Idaho.

Other awards Burns has received include:


  • South Florida Business Hall of Fame (Florida Council on Economic Education)
  • Junior Achievement’s Business Leadership Hall of Fame
  • Business Leader of the Year (The Miami News)
  • Joseph Wharton Business Statesman Award (Wharton School Club)
  • Marketer of the Year (Academy of Marketing Science)
  • Leslie Pantin, Sr. Leadership Award (Coalition of Hispanic American Women)


  • Honorary doctor of public service degree from Florida International University
  • Honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Florida Memorial University (formerly Florida Memorial College)
  • Haas School of Business Hall of Fame (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Charter Member of the Dixie State University Hall of Fame (Dixie State University)
  • Outstanding Alumnus (American Association of Community Colleges)
  • Wall of Fame (Mesquite, Nev.)
  • Jesse Knight Industrial Citizenship Award (Brigham Young University)


  • Silver Buffalo Award (Boy Scouts of America)
  • Silver Beaver (Boy Scouts of America)
  • Good Scout Award (Boy Scouts of America)


  • Silver Medallion (National Conference for Community and Justice – formerly National Conference of Christian and Jews)
  • Americanism Award (Anti-Defamation League)
  • Equal Opportunity Day Award (National Urban League)
  • Robie Award for Achievement in Industry (Jackie Robinson Foundation)
  • Boneh Yisroel (Builder of Israel) Award (Greater Miami Jewish Federation)
  • Spirit of Excellence (The Miami Herald)
  • Torchbearer, 2002 Olympic Winter Games
  • Free Enterpriser of the Year (Florida Council on Economic Education)