J. Gordon Hanes Jr.; Head of Hosiery Firm
J. Gordon Hanes, Jr., 79, who was president and chief executive of Hanes Corp., which produces hosiery. He was named to the positions in 1965 when Hanes Hosiery Mills Co. merged with the P.H. Hanes Knitting Co. to become Hanes Corp., and built it into a Fortune 500 company before his retirement in 1978. A North Carolina state senator in the 1960s, Hanes worked to raise the state’s minimum wage and to establish a uniform commercial code for business. Also a patron of the arts, he helped establish the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and was a major donor of artworks and money to the North Carolina Museum of Art. Hanes, whose father was former Winston-Salem Mayor James Gordon Hanes, began working in his family’s hosiery business after graduating from college in 1937. He was a knitter and machine repairman before going into management. On Thursday in Winston-Salem.