Edward B. Rust, Jr.Back to
Chairman & CEO
State Farm Insurance Companies
A graduate of Illinois Wesleyan, Rust holds both juris doctor and master of business degrees from Southern Methodist University. Rust had interest in State Farm Insurance Company from a young age as both his grandfather and father had served as CEO. He joined State Farm as a management trainee in 1975 at the company’s Dallas, Texas, regional office before moving to Bloomington, IL to become an attorney in the State Farm corporate law department. From there he moved on to marketing and sales within the company before eventually moving into general management. He was appointed vice president in 1981 and in 1983 was appointed executive vice president and chief operation officer and named a director.
At the young age of 35, Rust was appointed chief executive officer of State Farm after his father’s passing in office. While some had been in favor of looking outside the company to a more experienced candidate, once in office Rust proved his abilities and was named chairman of the board in 1987. He believed the strength of the company depended on developing a reliable team of employees. This philosophy served him well as his tenure became the longest in the history of State Farm. During Rust’s 30 years leading the company, State Farm saw an eightfold increase in equity, standing at approximately $80 billion with more than 82 million insurance policies and financial accounts.