Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
President and CEO of I.B.M.
Who was Thomas Waton, Jr.?
Thomas Watson Jr. was a President and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM). He followed in the footsteps of his father who served as the Chairman and CEO of IBM. While his father is credited with growing IBM into an international company based largely on sales of punched card tabulating machines, it was the son who redirected the company into computers and its eventual domination of mainframe computers. In 1987, Fortune magazine called him “the greatest capitalist in history”, and in 1999, Time magazine included him in its list of the “100 most influential people of the 20th century.”
Thomas Watson Jr. also served as the 11th national president of the Boy Scouts of America and the 16th U. S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union. In 1964, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. IBM’s Watson computer system that is capable of answering questions posed in natural language, and is often seen in quirky commercials, was name after Thomas Watson Sr. and Jr. who together led IBM for more than a half century.
Thomas Watson Jr. is a descendant of Mayflower passenger William White. He has a number of former U.S. Presidents in his family tree including Millard Fillmore, William H. Taft, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and both Presidents Bush.
Some of Thomas Watson Jr’s celebrity kin include Mark Wahlberg, Humphrey Bogart, Kyra Sedgwick, George Hamilton, Anderson Cooper, Jodie Foster, Carole Lombard, Alexandra Breckenridge, and a number of others. Other notable kin include Declaration of Independence signers Robert Treat Paine, William Williams and Lyman Hall, author and poet Henry David Thoreau, inventor Thomas Edison, Mormon Church president Brigham Young, Battle of Bunker Hill General Joseph Warren, dictionary publisher Noah Webster, American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, bank financier J.P. Morgan, Macy’s founder Rowland Macy, author Louisa May Alcott, and many others.
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