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 Howard Malcolm Baldrige, Jr

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Howard Malcolm Baldrige, Jr

  • Birth 4 Oct 1922 Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA
  • Death 25 Jul 1987 Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, California, USA
  • Burial Woodbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
  • Memorial ID 6807529

US Secretary of Commerce. He served in this position under US President Ronald Reagan from January 1981 until his death. The son of H. Malcolm Baldrige, Sr, a US congressman from Nebraska, he worked as a ranch hand during his youth, and became an avid rodeo performer, earning several awards as a professional team roper on the rodeo circuit. Following his education at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, he served as a captain in the 27th Infantry Division, US Army, in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. After returning from the war, he worked in the iron manufacturing industry in Connecticut, first as a foundry hand, and by 1960 he became its president. In 1962 he became chairman and chief executive officer of Scovill, Incorporated in Waterbury, Connecticut. In December 1980 he was nominated to be Secretary of Commerce by President-elect Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the US Senate the following month. During his tenure, he played a major role in developing and carrying out Administration trade policy. He took the lead in resolving difficulties in technology transfers with China and India and held the first Cabinet-level talks with the Soviet Union in seven years which paved the way for increased access for US firms to the Soviet market. He chaired a Cabinet-level Trade Strike Force to search out unfair trading practices and recommend ways to end those practices. He was actively involved in the reform of the nation's antitrust laws and was a proponent of quality management as a key to prosperity and long-term strength. He supported the Quality Improvement Act of 1987 and helped draft one of the early versions. On July 25, 1987, he sustained internal injuries from a rodeo accident at the Jack Roddy Ranch in Brentwood, California while participating in a calf-roping competition, when the horse he was riding fell on him and died as a result later that day at the age of 64. Shortly after his death, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration renamed one of its oceanographic research ships the NOAAS Malcolm Baldridge in his honor. In 1988 the annual Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established by the US Congress in his honor to recognize nationwide organizations in the business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors in applying the principles of Total Quality Management as embodied in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. In October 1988 he was posthumously presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan. He was a Professional Rodeo Man of the Year in 1980 and in 1999 he was installed in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Erik Lander
  • Added: 28 Sep 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6807529
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Howard Malcolm Baldrige, Jr (4 Oct 1922–25 Jul 1987), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6807529, citing New North Cemetery, Woodbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .