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 Bette Claire <I>McMurray</I> Nesmith Graham

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Bette Claire McMurray Nesmith Graham

Birth
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Death 12 May 1980 (aged 56)
Richardson, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Burial Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown
Memorial ID 13208394 View Source
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Inventor. Born Bette Clair McMurray to Christine and Jesse McMurray in Dallas, Texas. She married Warren Nesmith in 1941. They would have one son in December 1942, Robert Michael Nesmith. The couple spent most of their married lives apart while he served during WWII. They would divorce in 1946, and Bette went to work to support her son. By 1951 she was working as the executive secretary to chairman of the Texas Bank & Trust in Dallas. With the introduction of new electric typewriters, the secretarial staff found the number of errors increasing since no one had been able to adjust to the speed of the new machines, nor could mistakes be as easily erased with a pencil eraser as previously. She deliberately set out to find a better way to correct typing errors. Using her kitchen as a lab, she experimented with a blender and tempera water based paint to mix up the first batch of what she called Mistake Out. She secretly used her correction paint for five years. Her co-workers began to request supplies of their own. She began marketing her typewrite correction fluid in 1956. Working from her kitchen, the Mistake Out Company was launched with two employers, Bette and her son, Michael who helped bottle the product in the garage. After changing the company name to Liquid Paper, she tried to sell her product to IBM but was turned down so continued to market her own product. She married Robert Graham in 1962. He would help run the company until their eventual divorce. In 1966 Michael left the family business and moved to Los Angeles where he earned a role as the lead guitarist in the television series 'The Monkees.' By 1967, Liquid Paper had grown into a million dollar business. Bette said she built her company to foster the overall development of its employees; and so designed company committees composed of a cross section of employees and urged their participation in decision-making processes. In 1975, Liquid Paper moved into an international headquarters building in Dallas that could produce 500 bottles a minute. In 1979 she sold the company to the Gillette Corporation for 47.5 million dollars. A Christian Science practitioner and a women's rights advocate, she used her money as a tool for change, and established the Bette Clair McMurray Foundation and the Gihon Foundation to provide career guidance to women and assistance to domestic violence victims. She died suddenly, leaving half of her fortune to her son and half to charity.Inventor of Liquid Paper. Mother of Producer, Musician Michael Nesmith.


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