Ed was born November 4, 1941, in Ennis, Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. While at Texas tech, Whitacre was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He began his career at Southwestern Bell in 1963, working as a facility engineer. In 1998, he became president and chief operating officer of Regional Bell Operating Company. Two years later, Ed became chairman of the board and chief executive officer. After a series of merges and acquisitions, Bell owned several telephone services, one including AT&T. At the 2007 AT&T annual stockholders meeting, Whitacre announced his retirement from the company. In 2009, General Motors named Whitacre as chairman. In 2010, he retired from the company, after helping them out of major debt. AT&T headquarters in downtown Dallas was named “Whitacre Tower” in honor of Ed being with the company for 44 years. In 2008, Texas Tech announced that the engineering building will be renamed Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. Whitacre was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S Business Hall of Fame in 2009. Whitacre lives in San Antonio, Texas, but travels to Detroit often.