On Monday, March 2nd, two icons sadly passed away – General Electric’s former CEO Jack Welch and television host James Lipton.
In Remembrance of Jack Welch and James Lipton
Jack Welch was born on November 19th, 1935 in Peabody, Massachusetts to Grace Andrews and John Welch, who was a Boston & Maine Railroad conductor. Throughout his time in middle school and high school, he worked summer jobs as a golf caddie, newspaper delivery boy, shoe salesman, and drill press operator. At Salem High School, he played baseball and football, and was also the captain of the hockey team. After studying chemical engineering at University of Massachusetts – Amherst, he went on to graduate school at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to receive his masters and PhD.
Welch joined General Electric in 1960 and became Vice President and head of GE’s plastics division in 1968. After working at several different departments within the company, he became the vice chairman in 1979, and in 1981, started his position as GE’s youngest chairman and CEO. He retired in 2001 but continued to take consulting jobs at other firms.
He died at the age of 84 from kidney failure and is survived by his wife and four kids.
James Lipton was born on September 19th, 1926 in Detroit, Michigan, the only child of Betty, a teacher and librarian, and Lawrence Lipton, a journalist and poet. His family struggled financially, so at 13 years old, he took on work as a newspaper copy boy for The Detroit Times and as an actor in the Catholic Theater of Detroit. After graduating from Central School in Detroit, he attended Wayne State University for a year before enlisting in the United States Air Force in the mid-1940’s.
Although he initially studied to be a lawyer, he turned to radio and television acting to pay for his education. He also wrote for several soap operas. Lipton is arguably most known for creating and hosting Inside The Actors Studio, a televised craft seminar for students of the Actors Studio Drama School, with over 300 famous actors as guest interviewees. He ran the program for over 24 years.
Lipton died of bladder cancer at the age of 93. He is survived by his wife of over 50 years.