September 9, 2013, Lowell, MA — J. Dukes Wooters, the creator and founder of Cotton Incorporated, has been inducted into the American Textile Hall of Fame, recognizing his significant contributions to and support of the textile industry.
As the creator and founder of Cotton Incorporated, J. Dukes Wooters, Jr. was instrumental in creating the “Seal of Cotton” and one of the most recognized brands in the country. When cotton growers founded a non-profit trade association to revive the competitiveness of the struggling cotton industry in the early 1970s, Dukes Wooters was an unlikely candidate to lead them. An advertising executive with Readers’ Digest, he knew next to nothing about cotton. But he was bright, imaginative, high-energy, and had great instincts for what would sell.
“Dukes Wooters is, quite simply, responsible for changing how Americans think about and buy clothing,” said Jonathan Stevens, President and CEO of the American Textile History Museum. “He was not only central to the resurrection of the cotton industry, but also managed to endear consumers to one of the world’s most natural fibers and create one of the strongest brands in marketing history. He is more than worthy of great recognition for these contributions to shape the history and future of textiles, and we are honored to pay tribute to his achievements.”
The American Textile Hall of Fame was initiated in 2001 by the American Textile History Museum in Lowell to honor individuals, corporations and institutions that have made significant contributions to the textile industry in America, as well as those who have advanced the place, role, and appreciation of textiles in American life. The 2013 Hall of Fame ceremony was held September 9 at a luncheon at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Inn and Conference Center in Lowell.
Speaking at the ceremony were current Cotton Incorporated President Berrye Worsham and his predecessor, Nicholas Hahn, a member of the ATHM Board of Advisors responsible for “Cotton: The Fabric of Our Lives”, one of the most iconic marketing campaigns of all time.
“Dukes Wooters deviated from the norm, broke the mold, and got a lot of people’s noses out of joint,” Nick Hahn said. “But he knew what he had to do and persevered. That is his legacy and our legacy.”
In accepting the award, Mr. Wooters said he was “lucky” and credited his success in the industry to teamwork, surrounding himself with the “finest, smartest, and hardest-working professionals in the business.”
The 2013 American Textile Hall of Fame was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Gold Sponsors: Peter G. Scotese and Dukes Wooters, Jr. and Kay Wooters; Silver Sponsor: Lowell General Hospital; Copper Sponsors: Hal Brockman, Jean and Stanley Chang, Cotton Incorporated, Pauline T. Duke, and Columbia University Medical Center, Departmentof Ophthalmology.
From left, George Shuster, Chairman, Textile Hall of Fame Committee; Richmond Hendee, Senior Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Cotton Incorporated; J. Berrye Worsham, President and CEO, Cotton Incorporated; Hall of Fame inductee J. Dukes Wooters, Jr.; Jonathan Stevens, President and CEO, ATHM; Nick Hahn, ATHM Board of Advisors; Jan Russell, Vice Chair, ATHM Board of Trustees.