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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ tag

Ex-Caterpillar CEO Lee Morgan dead at 89

Lee Morgan saw Caterpillar through some of its darkest hours in the early 1980s. Everybody who has job there today has him to thank for keeping the doors open as the company lost billions because the Federal Reserve’s get-tough policy against inflation sent the dollar soaring and crashed overseas demand for Caterpillar equipment. He died Wednesday at age 89, Paul Gordon reports in the Peoria Journal Star.

“Lee’s wise and steady leadership guided Caterpillar through some very turbulent waters during his career with the company,” said current Caterpillar Chairman Jim Owens. “He was a champion in the area of international trade and open markets, and today Caterpillar continues to benefit from his pioneering vision.”

Morgan was a sales and marketing guy who came up through the ranks to run the whole company.

There’s not a lot of narrative online about Morgan, though you could piece something together with a Google book search.

When he laid off half of Peoria, he kept my mom on the payroll, so he’s alright with me.

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Tom Mangan posted at 10:57 pm January 22nd, 2009 |

Remembering Slag

Phil Luciano of the Peoria Journal Star profiles the longest-working employee in Caterpillar history, Glen “Slag” Hilligoss, who died on New Year’s Eve after over 63 years with the company. Slag was a welder who never showed the slightest interest in retiring.

“I see so many retired people just watching cars go by,” Slag told a reporter eight years ago, when he was a mere pup of 72 years of age. “When you read the obituaries, most of the people are retired. I still look forward to coming to work every day.”

Slag finally ended up in the obits recently. But his had no mention of retirement. Rather, it duly noted that at the time of his death, the 80-year-old Washburn man had worked 63 1/2 years at Caterpillar.

Nice story of an inspiration to us all. Especially those who will never enjoy the pension he declined to collect because companies don’t have pensions anymore.

(Disclosure: I worked with Luciano for six years at the Journal Star — his personality profiles are always worth a read.)

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Tom Mangan posted at 8:40 pm January 18th, 2009 |