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Malcolm Baldrige Biography


Baldrige Formal PhotoInnovation. Creativity. Excellence. Quality.

These are just some of the words often-used to describe the life and work of Malcolm Baldrige.  From ranch hand to foundry hand to Army Captain, CEO, and Commerce Secretary, Malcolm Baldrige demonstrated an unflagging commitment to business excellence, ethics, and continuous improvement.

Prior to being named the 26th Secretary of Commerce by President Ronald Reagan, Baldrige served as Chairman and CEO of Scovill, Inc. in Waterbury, Connecticut.  With a focus on diversification and quality, Baldrige helped transform the financially troubled brass mill into a very successful consumer, housing and industrial goods manufacturer.  He created jobs and helped establish Waterbury’s reputation as “The Brass City.”

Baldrige and President ReaganAs Commerce Secretary, Malcolm Baldrige helped reform American anti-trust laws, increase access to the Soviet market by U.S. companies, negotiate technology transfers with India and China, and lead the country’s effort to pass the Export Trading Company Act of 1982.  A focus on managerial excellence and efficiency resulted in a more than 30 percent decrease in the Commerce Department’s budget.  His impact on the world of business led to the creation of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987 and the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program.  In 1988, Malcolm Baldrige was posthumously presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan.

Fast forward to today.  The principles that continue to define the Malcolm Baldrige legacy have been embraced by organizations throughout the world.  They are the benchmarks for business quality and prosperity. They have helped transform another of Waterbury’s oldest and most resilient institutions:  Post University.  And, they have become the hallmarks of the programs offered through The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University.


Born in Omaha, NE In 1922

Graduated from Yale University

 Served as a Captain in the 27th Infantry Division in the Pacific during World War II

 Chairman & CEO of Scovill, Inc. in Waterbury, CT from 1962-1981

Board of Trustee Post College 1966-1970

Professional Rodeo Man of the Year in 1980

United States Secretary of Commerce from 1981-1987

Died in a Rodeo Accident in 1987

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987

Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient (Posthumously) in 1988

National Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductee in 1999

The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business At Post University in 2012