Thomas Watson

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope
Thomas Watson

Name: Thomas Watson

Born: February 17, 1874, Campbell, New York, USA

Death: June 19, 1956 (Age: 82)

Computer-related contributions

  • Chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM) who developed its distinctive management style and corporate culture.
  • Oversaw IBM's growth from 1914 to 1956 and turned the company into a highly-effective selling organization, based largely around punched card tabulating machines.
  • He was one of the richest men of his time and was called the world's greatest salesman when he died in 1956.

Honors and awards

  • TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people of the 20th century (1998).
  • Called "the greatest capitalist in history" by Fortune Magazine (1987).
  • Inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame (1976).
  • Vermilye Medal (1967).
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom by Lyndon B. Johnson (1964).


"The way to succeed is to double your error rate."

"Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops."

"My father and I had terrible fights. He seemed like a blanket that covered everything. I really wanted to beat him but also make him proud of me."

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