The Legacy of J.M. Juran

The 'quality architect' touched many lives

In a short space, it’s impossible to describe the broad and lasting contributions of a man whose career spanned more than seven decades and who brought the quality profession and the business world such tomes as Juran’s Quality Control Handbook and Managerial Leadership.

Juran lived to be 103—a long life by any standard. While in his 90s, he once remarked to ASQ’s executive director, Paul Borawski, "If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of my body." That was Juran—always thinking in terms of improvement.

He lived life to its fullest; a prolific author of 13 books, he was working on a new textbook up until his death. He was also married to his wife, Sadie, for 81 years. She survives him, along with his children and grandchildren.

QP pays homage to the "father of quality management" in this issue. You’ll find a historical look at Juran’s life and work, as well as photos and a timeline illustrating his greatest accomplishments. The tribute begins on p. 20.

QP received dozens of letters, memories and tributes when people heard the news. Some excerpts from these letters appear within the tribute, and the full collection is posted at www.asq.org/juran/comments.html. Here’s a taste of what the quality community had to say:

  • "Dr. Juran wrote that the purpose of the Institute is to improve the quality of society," said Joe De Feo, president and CEO of Juran Institute. "He said, ‘Whatever you do, make sure it improves society. Don’t just do it for the sake of profit.’ A true leader is not just there to lead a company. They must have a purpose."
  • "Dr. Juran also changed many lives. He did so through his books, videos, recordings, papers and public addresses," wrote Howland Blackiston, Juran’s grandson-in-law. "He did so by simply striking up a conversation with a stranger at a conference."
  • "He changed lives by setting an extraordinary example," Blackiston continued. "Through his deeds. His generosity. His wisdom. His unselfish focus on humanity."
  • "Quality in process, quality in control, quality in management. But, the most important is quality in life—the only way to reach a well lived 103 years," wrote Roger Chrispim.
  • And, from Joaquim Donizetti Donda: "Heaven will get better."

As we say goodbye to Dr. Juran, it’s fitting to close with a few of his own words—these from his 2004 autobiography, Architect of Quality:

"So I have come to the end. I close this book with two messages. To those whose careers are in the field of managing for quality: thank your lucky stars. Your field will grow extensively during your lifetime, especially in three of our giant industries—health, education, and government. There will be exciting opportunities for innovation and for service to society.

"And, to my beloved family: when I am gone, let no one weep for me. I have lived a wonderful life."

Seiche Sanders

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