Joseph Arthur Rank, 1st Baron Rank (22 December 1888 – 29 March 1972) was a British industrialist and film producer, and founder of the Rank Organisation, now known as The Rank Group Plc.
Joseph Arthur Rank was born on 23 December 1888 at Kingston upon Hull in England into a Victorian family environment, which was dominated by his father Joseph Rank who had built a substantial flour milling business. He was educated at The Leys School in Cambridge. Joseph is reported to have told his son Arthur that he was "a dunce at school" and that the only way that he could succeed in life would be in his father's flour mill. J. Arthur ventured on his own with Peterkins Self-Raising Flour, but when that business failed he returned to work for his father. That was the business (Joseph Rank Limited) that he later inherited and which became known as Rank Hovis McDougall (now owned by British food conglomerate Premier foods).
J. Arthur Rank was a devout member of the Methodist Church and in his middle age he taught Sunday School to which he began to show religious films. This practice expanded to other churches and schools and it led to his formation of the Religious Film Society to which he then distributed films that he had also made. His first production was called Mastership.