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Obituary: John K Crum

by Linda Wang
June 22, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 25


Photo of John K Crum.
Credit: Courtesy of ACS
John K Crum

John K Crum, 83, died on April 29 in Cobbs Creek, Virginia.

“John devoted his entire career to the service of American Chemical Society members. Straight out of graduate school, he joined the society’s Publications Division. He was proud of having won a high school writing competition that earned him a transatlantic sea voyage, so it’s no surprise that his talents as a writer and editor were quickly recognized at ACS. He advanced through the ranks over the years with ACS as he developed skills in planning, organizing, and leading the activities he managed. Over time, he mastered the profession of scientific publishing and was named chief financial officer in 1975. The board of directors chose him as executive director in 1983, and he served in this role for a remarkable 20 years of ACS growth. He was a dedicated leader whose commitment to the employees ensured that every decision on personnel began and ended with concern for the individual. Likewise, he worked diligently to increase the value of membership to an increasingly large and diverse group of scientists and engineers. As he approached retirement in 2004, he confided that ‘ACS is my life!’ ”—Joseph Clark, special assistant to John K Crum

Most recent title: Executive director, American Chemical Society

Education: BS, chemical engineering, 1960, and PhD, chemistry, 1964, University of Texas; Advanced Management Program, Harvard University, 1975

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