Did a cowboy rodeo champion create the best theory of quality improvement? Malcolm Baldrige and his award.

Abstract

Malcolm Baldrige was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1922. His father was H Malcolm Baldrige, a Nebraska lawyer and congressman. He was educated at Yale University, and received a bachelor’s degree in 1944. In 1945, he fought in World War II at the battle of Okinawa. He married Margaret T Murrary in 1951, and they went on to have two daughters. As a boy, he worked as a ranch hand and became very skilled at roping. He went on to become a member of the Rodeo Cowboys Association, was Professional Rodeo Man of the Year in 1980 and was elected into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1984. He went to work at a Connecticut factory as a labourer and became its president and a successful businessman. President Ronald Reagan nominated Baldrige to be the 26th Secretary of Commerce on 11 December 1980. During his tenure, he reduced his Commerce Department budget by over 30% and was noted for his managerial excellence. He played a major role in reforming antitrust laws, and in forming US trade policy with China, India and the Soviet Union. Baldrige was in a rodeo accident that led to his untimely death on 25 July 1987.

DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs.2010.050872

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Cite this paper

@article{Best2011DidAC, title={Did a cowboy rodeo champion create the best theory of quality improvement? Malcolm Baldrige and his award.}, author={Mark A Best and Duncan B Neuhauser}, journal={BMJ quality & safety}, year={2011}, volume={20 5}, pages={465-8} }