Industrialist Edgar F. Kaiser was the son of Henry J. Kaiser, who was the founder of numerous Kaiser enterprises such as Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp. and Kaiser Steel Corp. Edgar Kaiser began his career in the 1920s as superintendent of a natural gas pipeline project. In the 1930s he supervised dam projects, including the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state. He went on to serve in executive positions at various Kaiser companies, including Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., the automobile manufacturer Kaiser-Frazer Corp., and Kaiser Motors Corp. In 1956 he was elected president of Kaiser Industries Corp., the parent company of all Kaiser enterprises, becoming chairman of the board in 1967 upon the death of his father. He developed health care plans for workers in some Kaiser companies -- plans which evolved into the present Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization. He served on many governmental advisory panels, including the President's Committee on Urban Housing, which he headed from 1966 to 1968, and the President's Advisory Committee on Refugees, to which he was appointed in 1977. Also in 1977 he oversaw the voluntary liquidation of Kaiser Industries Corp.
From the description of Edgar F. Kaiser papers, 1886-1981. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 84650891
Edgar Fosburgh Kaiser born in Spokane, Washington, on July 29, the first
child of Henry John and Bessie Fosburgh Kaiser. Attended grammar school in
Seattle, Washington and began working on his father's road paving projects
at age 12. Attended high school in Oakland, California.
Attended University of California, Berkeley, majoring in economics, but
left one semester short of graduation to become superintendent on a natural
gas pipeline project in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Managed pipeline projects in Arizona, New Mexico, Mexico, and
Married Dorothy Sue Mead of Washington, D.C., on August 24.
Started as shovel foreman and became superintendent of canyon excavation
for Six Companies, Inc., at Hoover (Boulder) Dam.
Named administrative manager of Columbia Construction Company's main
spillway at Bonneville Dam (on the Columbia River).
Appointed project manager of the Grand Coulee Dam project in Washington
by Consolidated Builders, Inc. Brought Dr. Sidney R. Garfield there to
establish a comprehensive prepaid medical care program for workers and their
families, the beginning of the Kaiser Health Plan, the world's first prepaid
health maintenance organization.
Named vice president and general manager of Oregon Shipbuilding
Corporation and Kaiser Company, Inc., with shipyards at Portland, Vancouver,
and Swan Island. Kaiser again sponsored a prepaid health plan for shipyard
workers, under the direction of Dr. Garfield, which opened to the general
public in 1945.
Appointed general manager of Kaiser-Frazer Corporation automobile plant
at Willow Run, Michigan and elected president of Kaiser Motors
Moved to the Oakland, California headquarters of the Kaiser Companies as
the organization expanded, to share management responsibilities with his
father, Henry J. Kaiser.
Elected president of Kaiser Industries Corporation, the parent company,
with his father as chairman of the board and his younger brother, Henry J.
Kaiser, Jr., as vice president.
Negotiated with labor attorney Arthur Goldberg for a settlement with
United Steelworkers Union at Kaiser Steel's Fontana plant during the
national steel strike. Helped create the Long Range Sharing Plan at the
Served President John F. Kennedy as a member of the Missile Sites Labor
Commission, the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, and
as an incorporator of the Communications Satellite Corporation in
Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. died in Oakland.
Named National Chairman of United Nations Day by President Lyndon
Selected by President Lyndon Johnson to head the President's Committee on
Urban Housing, and named chairman of the board of incorporators of the
National Corporation for Housing Partnerships.
Henry J. Kaiser died in Honolulu on August 24.
Elected chairman of the board of Kaiser Industries Corporation, head
of all operating divisions, subsidiaries and affiliated companies
(including Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, Kaiser Steel
Corporation, Kaiser Cement and Gypsum Corporation, Kaiser Foundation
Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals), and a trustee of
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
Named Alumnus of the Year and awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane
Letters degree by the University of California, Berkeley.
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Johnson for
his contributions to the development of low and moderate income
Elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Sue Mead Kaiser died in Moscow on June 24.
Appointed by President Gerald Ford to the President's Advisory
Committee on Refugees.
Married Nina McCormick, his long-time executive secretary, on
Oversaw the voluntary liquidation of Kaiser Industries
Designated Chairman Emeritus and honorary director of Kaiser Aluminum and
Chemical Corporation and Kaiser Cement Corporation in 1978; of Kaiser Steel
Corporation in 1979; and of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser
Foundation Hospitals in 1980.
Died at Moffitt Hospital in San Francisco, California, on December
From the guide to the Edgar F. Kaiser Papers, 1886-1981, (The Bancroft Library)