Biographical / Historical
Joel "Jay" Solomon (1921-1984) was a Chattanooga businessman, and served as administrator of the US General Services Administration (GSA) under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 until 1979. While at the GSA he is credited at the time with spearheading one of the most far-reaching investigations into government corruption in the nation's history. His investigation resulted in forty-one indictments of GSA employees or contractors. Mr. Solomon was a Democratic Party activist, who had worked on Jimmy Carter's election in 1976, which led to his appointment as administrator of the GSA in May 1977. Prior to this, Mr. Solomon served as a member of the Chattanooga Housing Authority for thirteen years, eventually becoming chairman. In 1969 he served as chairman of the Human Resources Committee of the Greater Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. He was also chairman and chief executive officer of the Arlen Shopping Centers in Chattanooga and senior vice president and board member of the company's parent firm, Arlen Realty and Development Corp., the largest development center development firm in the country, which he held prior to his accepting the administrative post with the GSA. He was a graduate of Chattanooga's Baylor School and a 1952 graduate ofVanderbilt University, and was president of the Chattanooga Mental Health Association, Jewish Welfare Foundation, and Chattanooga Opera Association. After leaving Washington in 1979, Mr. Solomon founded a real estate development firm in Chattanooga and moved it to Nashville in 1981. Before he left Chattanooga, the downtown post office and the federal building were named after him. Mr. Solomon died in Nashville in 1984 at the age of 62, of heart failure.