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UW Profiles

W. Edwards Deming - 1929

Father of modern Total Quality Management

W. Edwards Deming, known as the father of modern Total Quality Management, grew up on a poor homestead in Camp Coulter, later named Powell, Wyoming.

After receiving his bachelor's degree from UW, Deming obtained an M.S. in mathematics and mathematical physics from the University of Colorado (1925) and a Ph.D. from Yale University (1928). He worked as a statistician for the Allied Mission to Observe the Greek Elections, from January through April 1946, and was an adviser in sampling techniques to the Supreme Command of the Allied Powers, Tokyo, in 1947 and 1950. 

Deming worked extensively as a teacher and consultant for foreign governments throughout his long and distinguished career, including as consultant to the Census of Mexico, to the Bank of Mexico, and to the Ministry of Economy, 1954, 1955; consultant, Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden (Germany), 1953; consultant, Central Statistical Office of Turkey, 1959-1962; lecturer, London School of Economics, 1964; lecturer, Institute de Statistique de l'Universite de Paris, 1964; consultant, China Productivity Center, Taiwan, 1970, 1971; lecturer, Santiago, Crdoba (Argentina), and Buenos Aires, under the auspices of the Inter American Statistical Institute, 1971.

His many honors include the Taylor Key Sward of the American Management Association, 1983; the Second Order Medal of the Sacred Treasure from the Emperor of Japan, 1960; the Shewhart Medal for 1955, from the American Society for Quality Control; election to the National Academy of Engineering, 1983; induction into the Science and Technology Hall of Fame, Dayton, Ohio, 1986; the Distinguished Career in Science Award from the National Academy of Sciences, 1988; and the National Medal of Technology from President Ronald Reagan, 1987.

Deming died on December 20, 1993, at his family's longtime home in Washington, D.C.

Photos courtesy of UW News Service and American Heritage Center

W. Edwards Deming

W. Edwards Deming
W. Edwards Deming worked a varied career as a teacher and consultant for foreign governments, specifically in the area of economics.

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