Watson, Thomas J., 1914-1993

Alternative names
Birth 1914-01-08
Death 1993-12-31

Biographical notes:

Watson was chairman of International Business Machines (IBM) and Birkenstock was a vice president of IBM.

From the description of Oral history interview with Thomas J. Watson and James W. Birkenstock 1985 Apr. 25. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 63295501

President and C.E.O. of International Business Machines, 1952-1971; Ambassador to U.S.S.R., 1978-1981; sailor, pilot, and philanthropist.

Thomas J. Watson, Jr., son of the founder of I.B.M., Thomas J. Watson, Sr., began his career with I.B.M. after he graduated from Brown University in 1937. He first worked as a salesman for the company and gradually moved through the executive levels of the company. His employment with I.B.M. was interrupted during World War II, during which time Watson served in the Army Air Corps. He served in the Soviet Union and the Pacific. After retiring from I.B.M. in 1972, Watson began a career in government service, serving as chairman of the General Advisor Committee on Arms Contol and Disarmament and as Ambassador to Moscow. An avid sailor and pilot, Watson owned the a yacht and several airplanes. Watson died in N.Y. in 1994.

From the description of Thomas J. Watson, Jr., Papers, 1905-1994 (bulk 1940-1981). (Brown University). WorldCat record id: 122639669


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  • Businessmen--Political activity
  • Arms control
  • Computer industry--History
  • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives
  • Ambassadors
  • Computer industry--License agreements
  • Businessmen
  • Skiing
  • World War, 1939-1945--Diaries
  • Office equipment and supplies industry
  • World War, 1939-1945--Officers
  • Logbooks
  • Yachts and yachting
  • Executives


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  • United States (as recorded)
  • Manchuria(China) (as recorded)
  • Soviet Union (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Moscow(Russia) (as recorded)
  • Zermatt(Switzerland) (as recorded)
  • China (as recorded)
  • Japan (as recorded)
  • Russia (Federation) (as recorded)