MEMPHIS – Economist Dr. McDonald K. “Mac” Horne, Jr., of Memphis, whose studies led the U.S. cotton industry to work for both competitive cotton prices and stepped-up, grower-financed cotton research and promotion, died Tuesday. He was 95.
Horne, who retired from the Memphis-based National Cotton Council in 1973, wrote “Price and Future of U.S. Cotton,” a study widely distributed in 1957 to the U.S. cotton industry’s seven interests – from growers to textile manufacturers.
“As a result of Dr. Horne’s study, the National Cotton Council, which represents those industry sectors, was able to agree on price policy and convince the Congress to change federal cotton programs so that U.S. cotton could compete in world markets,” said Gaylon Booker, a consultant to the Council who worked with Horne as an economist. He said follow-up studies in 1963 and 1971 reinforced Horne’s earlier work – and an indirect result was the eventual formation of the grower-financed Cotton Incorporated.
One of the first staffers of the Council after it was formed in 1938, Horne was a native Mississippian. He held degrees from the University of Mississippi and the University of North Carolina. Following World War II, in which Horne served in Naval Intelligence, he worked on the House Agriculture Committee staff. He later headed up the University of Mississippi’s Economics Department before returning to the Council in 1950.
Horne’s professional studies were given to Texas Christian University under the care of Dr. Clayton Brown, chairman of TCU’s history department, who is nearing completion of a history of the U.S. cotton industry and the Council’s role in the industry.
Horne, the widower of Elizabeth Cobb Horne, leaves two sons, Dr. McDonald Horne, III, of Alexandria, VA; and Robert Horne of Dallas, TX.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete. Memorial Park Funeral Home in Memphis has charge.
As the unifying force of the U.S. cotton industry, the Memphis-based National Cotton Council brings together industry representatives from the 17 cotton-producing states to establish policies reflecting the common interests and promoting mutual benefits for its broad membership and ancillary industries.