R. Parker Sullivan was born in Kentucky, received his early education there and was graduated from Notre Dame University. He joined the Lexington Telephone Co. and moved through a succession of managerial and executive positions, achieving presidential status in General Telephone Company of upstate New York, Western California Telephone and General Telephone Company of California. His last active position which culminated over 40 years in the telecommunications industry was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of GTE California.
In 1957, he was the first corporate vice president in the Independent industry to devote full time to developing concepts of marketing. He was a professional pioneer in this endeavor and his business principles spread rapidly through the Independent telephone industry and formed a base from which all executives could move to meet the current challenges of both the regulated and non-regulated environment. His efforts set a pace for the industry to follow. He was listed in “Who’s Who in America” because of his contributions to the telecommunications industry.
Sullivan achieved and carried out prominent roles in various civic, educational, welfare, health and community development activities. He held positions as a member of the board of directors or as a trustee of 19 different businesses. He was a member of 16 additional civic, business, educational, religious or social organizations. He received numerous awards for his significant personal contributions to the telecommunications industry, the political environment and the community. He died in 1982.