AFG Industries founder Randall Dee (R.D.) Hubbard, died April 29, 2020 in Palm Desert, Calif., at the age of 84. He became president of Safelite Auto Glass in 1968 after working as a salesperson for several years. In 1978 he founded glass manufacturer AFG Industries by effectuating and merging Fourco Glass of West Virginia and ASG Industries of Tennessee.
According to an article by the Los Angeles Times from 1985, AFG Industries acquired several other companies, including many that focused on architectural specialty glass, which made up 51% of the company’s sales in 1985. Hubbard also focused on investing in research and development of efficient manufacturing methods at the time.
“We don’t think we’ve reached our limit in improving our production,” said Hubbard to the Los Angeles Times, adding that he was exploring greater use of automation and robotics to improve yields.
Hubbard grew the company and sold it to Asahi Glass Co. (AGC) in 1992, which expanded AGC’s reach into North America.
Hubbard was the youngest of eight children and worked in his family’s ice house before attending Butler Community College. He was also an accomplished Quarter horse breeder.
Hubbard and his wife, Joan Dale, founded the R. D. and Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation in 1986; The Shoemaker Foundation, formed in 1991; and the Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso Downs, N.M. Hubbard also was founder and chairman of Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
As of press time funeral arrangements had not been released.
Dee was a great guy! I enjoyed talking to him about many things especially when “Glass Week” was in Palm Desert. We played at Big Horn Country Club and enjoyed cocktails at his house. The best story was Dee almost buying the Oakland Raiders but at the last minute Al Davis raised the price and the deal fell thru. He’ll always be known as a great business man and deal maker.