Friday, January 6, 2012

Former Port of Long Beach Top Executive Dies

Former Port of Long Beach top executive James H. McJunkin, who has been credited with playing a large role in the port’s growth to what it is today, died Jan. 2 at the age of 82.

McJunkin first joined the port’s operations division in 1963 and was later promoted to the number two position of assistant general manager. He succeeded Thomas J. Thorley in the general manager position in 1977 and retained it until 1988.

The position was later renamed executive director.

Under McJunkin’s leadership, Long Beach became the second-busiest container port in America, after the Port of Los Angeles, and one of the largest seaports in the world.

He oversaw the development of the Long Beach World Trade Center complex in the city’s downtown area, and is credited with helping spearhead some of the most significant trade-related projects in the region, including the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility rail yard and the Alameda Corridor rail expressway.

Before being hired by the POLB, McJunkin was director of the Northern California Ports and Terminals Bureau and also served as traffic manager for the Port of Sacramento.

McJunkin, who lived in Long Beach with his wife, Mary, also worked several years as a consultant to the maritime industry after retiring from the port.

Services were scheduled to be held Friday, Jan. 6 in Long Beach.