M. Monroe Kimbrel served as the tenth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta from February 1, 1968, to March 31, 1980.
Kimbrel was born in Colquitt, in rural southwest Georgia, in 1916. He received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Georgia in 1936, where he received the honorary designations of the Gridiron Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, and the Sphinx. While at the University of Georgia, he was a student of Malcolm Bryan, a future Atlanta Fed president. Kimbrel was also a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Kimbrel started his career in the lumber business in Thomson, Georgia. He worked as a credit examiner with the Farm Credit Administration in Columbia, South Carolina. He then took a position at First National Bank of Thomson, where he became president and chairman of the bank. He was a member of the American Bankers Association and served as president in 1962. Kimbrel also served as chairman of the Bank of Fort Valley, Georgia.
He served on the board of directors of the Atlanta Fed starting in 1960. Georgia Sen. Richard Russell approached him about becoming comptroller of the currency, but Kimbrel declined that role to take a position at the Atlanta Fed. On June 1, 1965, he became the senior vice president of the Bank and five months later moved up to first vice president.
Kimbrel ascended to the presidency in 1968. During his tenure, the economy had many turbulent events, including oil price shocks, runaway inflation and recession. Kimbrel’s article “Our Greatest Economic Problem” describes the public cost of inflation.
While Kimbrel led the Atlanta Fed, the board of directors voted to make Miami a check collection and coin and currency center. In 1975, the Miami operation was made a full branch of the Atlanta Fed.
After leaving the Atlanta Fed in 1980, he served as vice chairman of First Railroad and Banking Co. of Georgia. He was also a director of John H. Harland Co. and Spartan Communications Inc.
Kimbrel served as a director or trustee of the National Council of Boy Scouts of America, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, and the Watson-Brown Foundation. He served on the advisory councils of Agnes Scott College, Converse College, Wofford College, the Augusta College Foundation, and the Georgia Foundation of Independent Colleges in Atlanta. He received the University of Georgia's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1975 and was named emeritus trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation. He had served on the University of Georgia Foundation Executive Committee and was president of the university's Alumni Society from 1970 to 1973.;
Kimbrel passed away in 1999. He and his wife, the former Nita Matlock, had a daughter, Jenny Wood, and a son, Charles Daniel.
“Augusta Chronicle,” Kimbrel Obituary, July 19, 1999, p. C06.
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta “6F Messenger,” October 1965.
Gamble, Richard. “A History of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: 1914–1989,” 1989.
Written by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. See disclaimer.