At the time of his selection for Honorary Membership, Rex M. Whitton had completed a 47 year career in public service in highways. He joined the Missouri State Highway Department in 1920 and was named the Department's Chief Engineer in 1951 after advancing through the various positions. Ten years later in 1961 he was Federal Highway Administrator, a post he served in until 1967. He then joined the engineering firm of Howard, Needles, Tammen and Bergendoff in their Kansas City, Missouri office.
Mr. Whitton received a B.S. in Civil Engineering and honorary Doctor of Science degrees from the University of Missouri and has been honored by receipt of the George S. Bartlett Award in 1958, the Thomas H. MacDonald Award in 1960, International Road Federation's Man of the Year Award in 1966 (he was the first United States person to receive the latter). He received the Washington, DC "Road Gang" P.D. McLean Award in 1966 and in 1960 he was cited as one of the top ten Public Works Men of the Year. He is a Past President of AASHO, and the HRB Executive Committee and a member of ARBA, ASCE, and NSPE.