Frank K. Houston (1881-1973) was a New York City banker and director and officer of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation for forty years. In 1933, Houston was elected to the board and named treasurer. In 1943, he resigned as treasurer and accepted the position of vice president. He was elected as the Foundation's second president in 1944, and became chairman of the board in 1958. In 1969, he retired as an active member of the board and was named a director emeritus — a position he held until his death in 1973.
Houston was born on July 4, 1881, at Beaver Dam, his family's plantation near Woodbury, Tennessee. His family was related to the Texas hero General Sam Houston and his father was a judge and a member of the U.S. Congress for sixteen years. Houston graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1904. He was secretary of the Tennessee Bankers Association, assistant cashier at First National Bank in Nashville, and vice president of Third National Bank in St. Louis. He joined Chemical Corn Exchange Bank in New York City as a vice president in 1920; he subsequently served as president and retired as chairman of the board in 1947. He was president of Bankers Club of America and was a director of numerous insurance companies. In 1969, he established a professorship of banking and finance at the Vanderbilt Graduate School of Management.
During Houston's tenure at Monticello, the gardens were restored, the house was renovated, and the Foundation established a professorship and several fellowships at the University of Virginia.