William Oliver Baker was quietly at the helm of science and research in the United States for over sixty years, serving Presidents from Eisenhower to many that followed. For nearly two decades, Dr. Baker's leadership of research at Bell Telephone Laboratories created the model for modern industrial research laboratories. His own early research at Bell Labs during World War II was essential for the basis for synthetic rubber and in the development and application of polymer chemistry, and he was granted eleven patents for this work. Dr. Baker has been the hallmark of integrity and humanity throughout his career and has been honored with the Presidential Medal of Science, the Presidential National Security Award, over 25 honorary doctorates, and numerous professional awards. His advancement of science and technology in the service of national security and intelligence gathering were critical in winning the Cold War. But above all, his graciousness and concern for people were always paramount in a career that was an inspiration to us all.
A DIPLOMAT OF SCIENCE
Dr. William O. Baker has been seen by many as “a diplomat of science” and “a science patriot” for his service to the United States in advocating, championing, and advancing science and technology. His career spans over six decades, mostly centered at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, although his impact has also extended to such national areas as the content of basic education, national security, health effects, and the environment.
Dr. Baker's considerable influence came from his ability to draw upon substantive knowledge, whether from his own research or from that of his colleagues at Bell Labs, and to apply that knowledge to problems of national significance. Accordingly, he served the role of an ex officio advisor in matters involving science and technology to Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan. Retired from Bell Labs in 1980, Dr. Baker continued to be active in his service to the nation and in his concern and promotion of research and science to benefit the public.
Dr. Baker was a champion of basic research covering a spectrum from communication research specific to Bell Labs to research more broadly related to the national scene. He had an incredible memory of the people he met and of the materials he read, coupled with an astonishing ability to relate items and to identify synergies across disciplines, drawing upon his wide substantive knowledge. He always went out of his way to give credit to the researchers responsible for the work indeed it was very important to him to give proper credit and to get the historical facts correct.
Born on July 15, 1915, William Oliver Baker was the only child of Harold Baker (1870-1954) and Helen May Baker (1881-1945; nee Stokes). His parents were from Brooklyn, New York, and his father Harold worked from an office on Wall Street in New York City as a commercial agent of the Central Vermont Railway Company and Grand Trunk Railway System. They married in 1912 and in 1913 moved to a 235-acre farm (the Comegys Bight Plantation) on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Quaker Neck, Maryland. Their son William was born in the farm house there in 1915, and William grew up helping his mother with the duties of running the farm. His mother, a noted authority on animal husbandry, experimented with methods to raise healthier turkeys, even writing a book on the subject. His father had an interest in mining and also worked in railroad traffic analysis. His mother’s use of chemicals to combat parasites in turkey and his father’s collection of minerals probably influenced the young Baker’s interest in materials and chemistry. In 1937, his parents sold the farm and moved to New Jersey, presumably to be closer to William who was then a doctoral student at Princeton University.
Helen M. Baker clearly had a considerable influence on her son William. Growing large flocks of turkeys had been a challenge because of the fragile nature of turkeys. But she solved these problems through careful study and experimentation, and her pioneering efforts are why turkeys today are so affordable and available. In 1927, she raised one thousand turkeys (the largest flock ever) and sold them for $15,000 [reported in Turkey Tribune, November 1928, pp. 13-15]. In 1930, she raised a flock of 1,900 turkeys, and in 1932, a flock of 2,800 turkeys. These were tremendous accomplishments for which she achieved coast-to-coast fame with articles describing her work in such publications as the Rural New Yorker, the Washington Post Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, and newspapers as far away as Pueblo, Colorado and San Jose, California. Helen M. Baker was known as “the turkey lady” and her letterhead stated “Maryland Turkey Farm - originators of Bakers Bronze Beauties,” as her brand of turkeys was known. Her Bakers Bronze Beauties were predominately sold as breeding stock, at prices from $15 to $100 in 1928.
Helen Baker spoke publicly frequently and wrote articles describing how to raise turkeys successfully. She published two books on raising turkeys, one in 1928 followed by its second edition in 1933, with the second edition being “dedicated to my Beloved Son William Oliver Baker whose sterling qualities are my inspiration.” Her son’s interest in chemistry came from helping his mother experiment with treating and raising turkeys. In 1928, Helen Baker received a silver cup at the International Turkey Exposition in Chicago “for distinguished service to the United States,” and in 1929, the University of Maryland honored her with a Certificate of Merit for meritorious accomplishments in agriculture.
Dr. Baker attended a one-room, one-teacher, grade school (Quaker Neck Elementary Public School), taught by Mrs. Edna E. Faulkner, with about 34 other students from the first through the seventh grades, graduating in 1927. He attended Chestertown High School, graduating in June 1931 at age 15.
He then entered Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, commuting from the farm in Quaker Neck, a distance of about 10 miles each way. At Washington College, he was editor of the Washington Elm student newspaper, a Shakespeare Player, and a member of the Dean’s Cabinet, the Debating Society, the Chemical Society, the Honor Society, and the Silver Pentagon Society, among other activities. He was nearly a straight A student there and was awarded the Visitors and Governors Scholarship for Men for the 1934-35 academic year. Dr. Baker earned his B.S. in physical chemistry from Washington College in 1935, graduating Maxima Cum Laude and giving the valedictory address. Later that year, he entered Princeton University.
Dr. Baker received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Princeton University in 1939, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and completing his studies in a little more than three years. At Princeton, he studied the electrical properties of molecular crystals, a field which later became solid state physics, and performed research, with Prof. Charles Phelps Smyth. Dr. Baker was both a Harvard University fellow (1937-38) and a Procter fellow (1938-39) for his research and studies at Princeton.
Bird watching, boating, and hunting were some of his favorite pastimes, including walking in a New Jersey natural preserve today known as the Great Swamp, located near his home. Dr. Baker was an avid hunter and went woodcock hunting in the marshes along the Passaic River in New Jersey in the 1950s with David (Duke) Dorsi. Duke Dorsi was a glass blower at Bell Labs who did Dr. Baker’s glass work. Mr. Dorsi remembers that "Bill was a good shot a perfectionist in anything he did.” He also recalls that "Bill was a regular guy not a pretentious man.” They had initially talked about dogs; Duke then invited him along on a hunt for which a good dog was requisite, and they became hunting buddies.
Frances (b: 1917), who was his beloved wife since 1941, passed away in 1999. His son Joseph Burrill Baker designed computer systems and presently is active with Drew University and local school boards.
BELL LABS RESEARCH
Dr. Baker joined Bell Labs in May 1939 as a member of technical staff, working initially in a converted garage in Summit, New Jersey. His early work at Bell Labs focused on synthetic rubber, and he discovered that microgel networks formed, with unfavorable properties, if the processing was not properly controlled. He became Head of the Polymer Research and Development Department at Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1948. From 1951 to 1955, he was Assistant Director of Chemical and Metallurgical Research. Dr. Baker became Vice President, Research in 1955, after a short period as Director of Physical Sciences Research. He was elected President of Bell Labs in 1973 and served until 1979 when he was elected the first Chairman of the Board. He retired as Chairman of Bell Labs in 1980, but continued his many activities in advising various foundations, academic institutions, and government agencies until his health started to fail a few years before his death.
Dr. Baker’s unique talents as a young chemist brought him to the attention of senior management at Bell Telephone Laboratories. He was fairly quickly promoted through the ranks until he achieved the position of vice president responsible for the research division in 1955. It appears that Dr. Baker’s predecessor in this position, Dr. Ralph Bown, was his mentor. In particular, Dr. Bown published a paper in 1952 that described the basic principles in managing a research institution, and Dr. Baker followed these principles during his many years at the helm of the research division [Bown, Ralph, “Vitality of a research institution and how to maintain it,” Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Conference on Administration of Research, 1953, pp. 31-35; reprinted as Monograph 2207 by Bell Telephone System Technical Publications]. Dr. Baker and Dr. Bown sailed together at Cape Cod and thus must have been good friends as well as colleagues.
As the vice president responsible for the research division at Bell Telephone Laboratories during the period of 1955 to 1973, Dr. Baker was a dedicated defender of long-term research. Well aware of the pressure to produce practical short-term results, he recognized that practical problems stimulated very successful research. Yet he realized there had to be the freedom to investigate openly, and sometimes even to fail. Dr. Baker deplored the attempts to make basic scientists become design engineers. Paraphrasing his words, he once stated that such an over compression of the span between discovery and use would cause the whole system to crumble “from internal pressures and implosions.”
A number of important advances occurred at Bell Labs during his 18-year tenure there as vice president for research. These advances included magnetic bubble memories, the laser, charge-coupled devices for imaging, the electret microphone, and the Unix computer operating system. The considerable effectiveness of his leadership of research at Bell Labs was the result of his early work there as a researcher, which stimulated him to think about the process of research and then develop a philosophy that he was able to implement. A testament to his influence on research is that 11 Nobel prizes were given or were based on research done by Bell Labs researchers during his tenure at the helm of the research organization.
Dr. Baker was issued eleven patents (13 applications with 2 abandoned) for his own inventions during his early research at Bell Labs. This research focused on the basic science of plastics, natural rubber, and other substances, emphasizing crystalline molecular structures and macromolecules. The practical motivation for his early wartime research was the search for a replacement for rubber. What he had discovered in 1943 was that the high temperatures used in the drying of synthetic rubber were creating too much gel in the final product. He was able to get manufacturers to adopt the results of his discoveries for improving the manufacturing processes, and the results of his research were strategic in the victory of World War II. His research into polymers was vital to the Bell System for electrical insulators, polymer carbons, and semiconductors, and was later applied to heat shields for missiles and satellites. Research by him and his colleagues enabled the replacement of lead sheathing of telephone cables with plastic, which had a tremendous cost and weight saving and also a positive impact on the environment.
Clearly, Dr. Baker’s accomplishments attracted attention. As an example, from 1956 to 1961, Dr. Baker received many enticing offers to leave Bell Labs to head such as the Mellon Institute, the Aerospace Corporation, Lehigh University, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Provost of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But Dr. Baker’s devotion to his beloved Bell Labs was too strong, and he remained at the helm of its research division.
Dr. Baker’s influence on Washington projects and agencies began in 1956 in national security under President Eisenhower. The “Baker Report” of 1958 had major impact on the technology of information gathering by the intelligence community during the Cold War, including the use of special computers and satellite reconnaissance. In 1959, at the request of President Eisenhower, Dr. Baker developed the plan for the establishment of the Defense Communications Agency, which was eventually implemented in 1961 under President Kennedy.
Dr. Baker’s strong sense of pragmatism was coupled with the good sense to know his own limitations. For example, a few days after the inauguration in 1961, he was asked by Vice President Johnson to head the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to fulfill President Kennedy’s vision of landing an American on the moon. Dr. Baker declined the request, realizing that someone would better fill this post other than a scientist or technologist like himself.
But Dr. Baker did not shy away from service to the government when it was appropriate to his skills and talents. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy took him into particularly close confidence, including attending meetings with heads of state in the White House living quarters. Dr. Baker had an ability to apply substantive knowledge in an understandable fashion as opposed to dabbling in ethereal policy that was highly valued by the leaders of the United States.
He served formally as a member of the President’s Science Advisory Committee (PSAC) and also on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (from 1957 to 1977 and again from 1981 to1990). He was a staunch supporter of a strong intelligence enterprise for the United States, utilizing the most advanced communications and computing technology.
Long before the personal computer, Dr. Baker was a strong advocate of the use of computers in research. He focused the attention of the academic community on this opportunity in the seminal conference “The Human Use of Computing Machines” conducted at Bell Labs in 1966. He promoted the use of computers in communication systems and libraries and has been a visionary in the then new concepts of information science and technology. He wrote and published papers that explained and advocated the use of these technologies in education and for libraries.
His interests ranged into many areas other than communications science and technology. He was instrumental in stimulating investigations of the health effects of various materials and their impact on the environment. He actively promoted a systems approach to solving broad problems.
Dr. Baker served on numerous committees and advisory groups and as a trustee for many universities, foundations, government agencies, and other organizations. Among those were the Summit and Elizabeth Trust Company, the Aerospace Corporation, the Babcock & Wilcox Company, the Robert A. Welch Foundation, General American Investors, Princeton University, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, the Charles Babbage Institute, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. He was active on the boards of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Rockefeller University, both of which named him chairman emeritus.
A resident of New Jersey since entering Princeton in 1935, Dr. Baker was active in promoting science and technology throughout the State. He was a charter member in 1967 of the New Jersey State Board of Higher Education and a founding member in 1985 of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology. Dr. Baker energetically promoted the reform of higher education and the granting of autonomy to community colleges in New Jersey.
His interest and commitment to education was national as well, and he was an active champion of educational reform. The 1983 report “A Nation At Risk,” issued by the National Commission on Excellence in Education and largely written by Dr. Baker and Prof. Gerald Holton of Harvard University, had a significant impact in identifying and focusing attention on the national issue of literacy.
Dr. Baker also spearheaded “Project 2061” (operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science) to stimulate the learning of science and mathematics as early as preschool and nursery school, including the requirement that teachers themselves understand the arena of science and mathematics. In his words, “the very best minds … depended on education, the recognition of intellect and the cultivation and training of it.”
Dr. Baker served as a trustee of the Mellon Institute and during 1965 and 1966 was a member of a small group of trustees (headed by Dr. James R. Killian, Jr.) that had been tasked by Paul Mellon to investigate a coupling of his Mellon Institute with the Carnegie Institute of Technology. The work of this group resulted in the merger of the two institutions in 1967 to create the Carnegie Mellon University.
HONORS AND AWARDS
He has been honored with numerous professional and national awards and medals from such organizations as the American Chemical Society, the Franklin Institute’s Fahrney Medal, the American Institute of Chemists, the National Science Foundation, and the Materials Research Society. He has also been awarded over 25 honorary doctorates, from such institutions as Georgetown University, the University of Notre Dame, Princeton University, Glasgow University, Tufts University, the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, Trinity College (Dublin), and Rutgers University. Dr. Baker was the first person to hold membership in all three of the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Baker was awarded the Presidential National Security Award in1982 and the National Medal of Science in 1988. In 2003, the Marconi International Fellowship Foundation honored him with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
In addition to the many honors that he received, Dr. Baker encouraged the award of honors to many others for their contributions to science and technology. He was instrumental in the honoring of AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1985 with the first Presidential Medal of Technology ever awarded to a research institution as a whole, and later encouraged a similar honoring of the Du Pont Company.
Awards and honors have been established in his name: the William O. Baker Professorship in Computer Science at Princeton University; the William Oliver Baker Award of the Security Affairs Support Association; the National Academy of Sciences Prize for Initiatives in Research; the Baker Family Scholarship at Drew University; and the William O. Baker Graduate Fellowships at Rockefeller University by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Dr. Baker, as a chemist, knew the meaning of “catalyst:” namely, a substance that facilitates a chemical reaction, but is itself not consumed directly. He was that catalyst in the background, having had considerable influence on various wide ranging institutions and people over the many decades of his career. He facilitated and stimulated many advances in science, technology, and society. Throughout his career, he eschewed personal publicity in a modest way, instead exerting influence quietly and working effectively behind the scenes. He had the ability to understand and champion the research of others in a wide variety of disciplines and then to apply the results of that research to practical problems on a broad scale, both for the Bell telephone system and for the United States as a whole.
Many with whom Dr. Baker has interacted tell stories of his personal commitment and concern. Numerous researchers at Bell Labs remember fondly how he would be in the lunch line and would ask politely whether he could join them for lunch. Other Bell Labs employees in staff positions recall how he would go out of his way to wish them a happy holiday. He always expressed consideration and appreciation to all the people at all levels who worked for him in his organization. At Bell Labs, he set a tone of openness, respect, and courtesy that permeated his entire organization.
The words that many of his friends and colleagues use in describing him mention his style and grace, his wisdom that enriched the life of the Nation, his ability to lift the spirits and inspire, his inimitably humanitarian manner, and his being a hallmark of consideration, graciousness, and doing the right thing. He is noted for his strong sense of the highest ethics. His own words summarize his inspiring approach to life:
“With all its beauty and power, the age of science is in no way old enough to tell us what to do or what to think, but only sometimes what to ask.” William O. Baker, 1968.
Dr. Baker passed away in the afternoon of Monday, October 31, 2005 in Chatham, New Jersey, after an extended general decline of his health. Both his vision and his hearing had deteriorated thereby making communication with him challenging. He died of heart failure stimulated by an upper respiratory infection. Dr. Baker's son Joseph was his closest confidante and caregiver during his later years.
“Bell Labs Baker and Missing Bets,” Government Executive, Vol. 13, No. 6 (June 1981), pp. 17-18.
Conniff, James C. G., “The Mind of the Research Chemist,” Chemistry, Vol. 41, No. 3 (March 1968), pp. 12-17.
Goldstein, Marcy and Jeffrey L. Sturchio, Interview of William O. Baker, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Oral History, interview date: May 23 & June 18, 1985.
Hall, R. Cargill, “An Interview with William O. Baker,” National Reconnaissance Office, Oral History Program, May 7, 1996.
Lepkowski, Wil, “William O. Baker’s Odyssey,” C&EN, November 25, 1996, pp. 27-34.
MacPherson, Kitta, “Ex-Bell Labs chief to receive national award at White House,” The Star-Ledger, July 15, 1988, p. 9.
Who’s Who in America, 2002.
Who’s Who in Science and Technology, 1998-99.
SELECTED QUOTATIONS FROM THE WRITINGS OF WILLIAM O. BAKER
“There never was produced at the beginning, and one hopes there will not be now, a thing called ‘science policy.’ The present screams that say that we lack such policy and need it, and that some powerful counselor in the White House can create it, are not only inimical to the future of research and development, but, above all, are hostile to the creative, mind-based (not institution based) advance of science and engineering.” Chemical Technology, Vol. 5 (February 1975), p. 69.
“With all its beauty and power, the age of science is in no way old enough to tell us what to do or what to think, but only sometimes what to ask.” The Robert A. Welch Foundation Research Bulletin, No. 8 (January 1961), p. 11 and Chemistry, Vol. 41, No. 3 (March 1968), p. 14.
“No scientific miracle, no empty boast of massive retaliation, no magic from the committees, can save us from needing to know the great lesson that even the childhood of science has taught. It is that there is no certainty, no final answer, no father image of sureness and eternal care in the world of natural wonders about us.” The Robert A. Welch Foundation Research Bulletin, No. 8 (January 1961), p. 22.
“Prominent among our tactics in arranging for such flow of basic discovery into application in industry for the public benefit and economic advance is the conviction that the quest for new knowledge does not conflict with, and need not be diverted by, application of the findings.” Testimony at Hearing on “Destinies for American Research,” Subcommittee on Energy Research and Production and Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, December 10, 1979.
“… you ask the right questions to stimulate the creative ego and then bend over backwards not to claim credit. This takes a great deal of skill, but it can be done if a culture has been created within the organization that encourages it and makes it known that this is what top management wants.” Research Management, Vol. XXV, No. 4 (July 1982), p. 8.
“The academic disciplines are highly important in teaching, but there is another realm in the world of discovery which can only be exploited by means of large challenges. This is what some industrial laboratories have pursued, and this is where the big differences come in.” Research Management, Vol. XXV, No. 4 (July 1982), p. 9.
“[Information and communication theory] in turn is joined with solid-state electronics and photonics in guiding the combination of telecommunications and computer culture to provide a new socioeconomic base for world civilization in the third Millennium.” The Bridge, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Winter 1986), p. 16.
“… basic to any such nontraditional juncture of engineering and science is cultivation of human capabilities and talents beyond even the best of regular training.” The Bridge, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Winter 1986), p. 18.
“So let us resolve that we must keep in our free and independent institutions the abilities to learn, to do, to challenge, and to create that our people had at the beginning. We can no longer rest with the notion that just making a new product, a new market, a new profit will do it. We have to couple that with an ability to meet not only the people’s expectations for better things and better lives, but their expectations that we will not be swept away by technical complexity.” Address to the National Academy of Engineering, November 18, 1976.
“A characteristic failing of modern R&D (research and development) is overcompression of the span between discovery and use, so that basic scientists are expected to become design engineersand then the whole system crumbles from internal pressures and implosions.” Government Executive, Vol. 13, No. 6 (June 1981), p. 18.
“To assure appropriate detachment of policy from practice in science and engineering requires the genius of making things work in practice so well that nobody will notice that none of them is even supposed to have a policy associated with it!” Miklos M. Breuer (Editor) Milton Harris: Chemist, Innovator, and Entrepreneur, American Chemical Society (1982), p. 102.
“We’ve got to look for coalitions of free governments or democratic societies which we never before felt were required. We’ve been living in a dream world since 1950, where America has set the pace for the planet. It’s no longer so. We’ve now got four billion people on the planet who have their own aims and ideas. If we believe in the kind of freedoms and ideals that this country was founded on, we’ve got to find our friends and work with them, and science and technology are very much a part of that strategy.” SIPIscope, Vol. 11, No. 1 (March-April 1983), p. 11.
“… how much should industry expect universities to do with respect to specific technologies, in applying basic knowledge, in contrast to preparing the graduates, the human resources. … I do not believe that any industry, whether small, medium sized, or large, has ever found it possible to expect a university, some other institute, Federal Agency, or whatever to do its specific work.” “Novation Potentials for University-Industry Relations,” Testimony at hearing on “Government and Innovation: University-Industry Relations,” Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, July 31, 1979, p. 14.
“The ideas of scientific discovery come one at a time from one person and one mind at a time. Sometimes two or three can aid each other. But scientific discovery cannot be collectivized, and it does not flourish in collectivized structures.” Science, Vol. 133, No. 3448 (January 27, 1961), pp. 255-262.
“The nucleus of all this would seem to be that the old notions of science and technology causing increased specialization in the labor forces, or at least preserving the old specializations, must be abandoned. Industry, by vigorous and imaginative teaching and training, must continue the presently improved secondary and college education of workers so that from board cutter to Board Chairman, they will be ableand know that they are ableto convert quickly and smoothly from one industry, one production, to another as the demands of the economy and national security require.” Article entitled “Learning Corps in Industry,” Technology Review, December 1961, p. 19.
“It is the engineer who provides people with light, heat, cars, planes, refrigerators, telephones, roads, and bridges. Yet neither through financial support nor by tradition has the engineer been encouraged to take the bold, if sometimes dubious, steps that big science has undertaken.” Article entitled “Engineering and Science: A Sum and Not a Difference,” 1965.
“Excellence in research and development, particularly in industry, … has to be mastered and applied in an environ in which the speed of discovery, recognition of broad new outlines of knowledge, rapid and early innovation, and record of findings are dominant features.” Centennial Lecture at Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona), January 1988.
“What fun it has been for all of us to see and to join in great scientific and technical ventures, whose role in the nation and the world have indeed enhanced liberty and augmented humanism.” Personal letter to Dr. Frederick Seitz (President Emeritus of The Rockefeller University) dated June 30, 1986.
“[the] basic elements of science and engineering are easily (and presently) lost in the skittish frenzy of titillating the American people’s instinctive and worth interest in engineering, invention, science, and discovery through sensational headliners of super-everything.” Paper entitled “Notes on Science Advising in the White House,” in Science and Technology Advice to the President, Congress and Judiciary, ed: William T. Golden, AAAS Press, Washington, D.C., 1993, p. 22.
QUOTATIONS ABOUT WILLIAM O. BAKER
“He is a true renaissance man. He’s a synthesizer … who can pull together diverse elements into a working whole and see the importance of it for society.” Edward E. David, Jr. (former science advisor to President Nixon and former Bell Labs executive) quoted in article by Kitta MacPherson in The Star-Ledger, July 15, 1988, p. 9.
“Bill Baker is a visionary. He is gifted with the desire and the ability to transform ideas into action.” New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, quoted in AGB Distinguished Service Award, 1993.