Ralph Sydney Evinrude

Ralph Sydney Evinrude

Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 21 May 1986 (aged 78)
Stuart, Martin County, Florida, USA
Burial Stuart, Martin County, Florida, USA
Memorial ID 133255029 · View Source
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Ralph S. Evinrude (September 27, 1907 – May 21, 1986) was an American business magnate best known for being the Chairman of Outboard Marine Corporation, and the husband of singer and entertainer Frances Langford.

Evinrude was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Bess and Ole Evinrude. Evinrude's father had emigrated from Norway in 1882 and had developed the first commercially feasible outboard motor, thus creating a new industry and form of recreation. In 1927, Evinrude joined the family firm, Elto Outboard Motor Company after two years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Ole Evinrude died on July 12, 1934 and Ralph Evinrude took over running the company. In 1936, Elto Outboard Motor Company merged with Waukegan, Illinois-based Johnson Motor Company to form Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC).

In 1936, the Board of Directors of OMC elected Evinrude president and director. In 1953, he was elected vice chairman of the board and chairman of OMC's Executive Committee.[ He became chairman of OMC in 1963. During his 55-year career in the family business, Evinrude collaborated with manufacturing giants such as Milwaukee based Briggs and Stratton, and expanded the company's product line to include boats, lawn mowers, snow mobiles and chain saws, and expanded operations worldwide. In 1982 when Evinrude retired as chairman, OMC had more than 9,000 persons employed in operations throughout the world.

Evinrude married Joan "Bobbe" Everett in Lake Forest, Illinois in December 1951.

In 1955, shortly after his divorce from his first wife, Evinrude married Frances Langford and moved to her estate in Jensen Beach, Florida. They shared interests in business and boating and spent much of their time aboard their 118-foot (36 m) yacht Chanticleer.[ They opened a resort in Jensen Beach called The Outrigger. Evinrude and Langford also maintained a cottage on a small island at the east end of Baie Fine, a fiord on the north shore of Georgian Bay, in Lake Huron, in what is now Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. Chanticleer was often seen tied up at the island during the summer.

During his later working years and during retirement, Evinrude supported a wide variety of philanthropic activities. Some of his interests focused on Florida and the marine industry, but others benefited Milwaukee-area hospitals, institutions of higher education and the arts.

Evinrude died at Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart, Florida at the age of 78. OMC has a test center in Stuart which bears his name.

EVINRUDE, RALPH May 22, 1986 A1 06 DA
EVINRUDE, RALPH May 24, 1986 A1 06 DA

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  • Created by: Martin Weybright
  • Added: 23 Jul 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 133255029
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ralph Sydney Evinrude (27 Sep 1907–21 May 1986), Find A Grave Memorial no. 133255029, citing Fernhill Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum, Stuart, Martin County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Martin Weybright (contributor 47169053) .