Sam Fleming Illuminated Manuscript and Early Printing Collection
c.1290 - 1529
Sam Fleming was born on April 29, 1908 in Franklin, Tennessee. He graduated from Battle Ground Academy in 1924 and from Vanderbilt University in 1928. Fleming served in
active duty with the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1942-1945. After college he worked for a time in New York and then came to Third National Bank in Nashville in 1931 and by
1950 was appointed president where he served until his retirement in 1970. He was active in many areas of business and commerce in Nashville and in committee, fundraising,
and other charitable work.
He served on the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt University from 1952 until 1981 and as its Chairman from 1975 to 1981 . He was Chairman of the Board of Trust at the
time of the merger with George Peabody College for Teachers in 1979 and as such played an important role in bringing the two institutions together. He also was instrumental
in the creation of the Owen Graduate School of Management in 1969 and for the creation of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt in 1981.
Sam Fleming held many civic memberships and served in leadership roles as community activist and philanthropist in Nashville and nationally, and was an elder of the
First Presbyterian Church.
He was married to Josephine Cliffe Fleming who preceded him in death and then to Valerie Ellis Fleming. He and Josephine had two children, Joanne and Daniel. Sam
Fleming died on January 21, 2000.
This Collection was a gift from Mr. Fleming to the Library in 1985. He was a great patron of the Vanderbilt Library and in addition to donating a number of important
Bibles from the late 16th and early 17th ( the Geneva version of the so-called “Breeches” Bible, reference to Genesis 3:7) centuries, in his will he endowed the Sam
Fleming Southern Civilization Collection in Special Collections, a growing collection of books on the history, culture, literature, and biography of the South since 1865.
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