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The Philip Crosby Collection   Business philosopher

Photo of Philip Crosby.Philip Bayard Crosby was born June 18, 1926 in Wheeling, West Virginia. His parents were Mary and Dr. Edward K. Crosby. His father was a Podiatrist. He had one brother, David. He attended public schools in Wheeling, graduating from Triadelphia High School in 1944. He joined the Navy and became a hospital corpsman.

In the fall of 1946 Mr. Crosby entered the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland. After graduation he returned to Wheeling and practiced podiatry with his father. He soon discovered this was not his field.

He was recalled to military service during the Korean conflict, this time he served as a Marine Medical Corpsman.

In 1952 Mr. Crosby went to work for the Crosley Corporation, (Richmond, Indiana) as a junior electronic test technician. He was asked to join the American Society for Quality Control, the Richmond section, and this is where his early concepts concerning "quality" began to form.

In 1955 he moved to South Bend, Indiana, and went to work for Bendix Corporation as a reliability technician. Bendix and the U.S. Navy were developing and testing the TALOS missile. As a quality engineer, Mr. Crosby was to investigate defects found by the testers and inspectors. As time passed, it became evident that if he was going to "make things happen" he needed to become an executive and Bendix was not where it was going to happen.

In 1957 he was offered a job as a senior quality engineer with Martin Marietta Company in Orlando, Florida. During his eight years with Martin Marietta, Mr. Crosby developed his "Zero Defects" concepts, began writing articles for various journals, and started his speaking career.

In 1965,  IT&T (International Telephone and Telegraph), hired Mr. Crosby as a vice president in charge of corporate quality. During the fourteen years with IT&T, Mr. Crosby worked with many of the world's largest industrial and service companies. He began implementing his pragmatic management philosophy, and found that it worked.

In 1979, he founded Philip Crosby Associates, Inc., with headquarters in Winter Park, Florida. Over the next ten years it grew into a publicly traded corporation with 300 employees around the world and $80 million dollars in revenue. Philip Crosby Associates taught management how to establish a preventive culture to get things done right the first time. General Motors, Chrysler, Motorola, Xerox, many hospitals, and hundreds of corporations worldwide came to Philip Crosby Associates to understand quality management.

In 1991, he retired from Philip Crosby Associates and founded Career IV, Inc., a company that provided lectures and seminars aimed at helping current and prospective executives grow. In 1997, he purchased the assets of Philip Crosby Associates and established Philip Crosby Associates II, Inc. with offices at 1954 Howell Branch Road, Winter Park, Florida.

Philip B. Crosby died August 18, 2001.

The Peggy and Philip B. Crosby Foundation has awarded the Winter Park Public Library a grant for the purpose of making available on-line Philip B. Crosby's articles, essays and writings.   Click HERE to access this page.

Photo of Philip Crosby

Philip Bayard Crosby 1926 - 2001

Philip Bayard Crosby, a business philosopher,  had over 40 years of hands on management experience.   As an author, Mr. Crosby published fourteen books, all of which were best sellers. His first book, Quality is Free, has been credited with beginning the quality revolution in the U.S. and Europe. It has sold over 2.5 million copies and has been translated into 15 languages.

Publication for Bendix

Will It Work? was one of Mr. Crosby's first publications about quality and reliability.  

In this publication, written for Bendix Missile Division of Mishawaka (near South Bend), Indiana,  Mr. Crosby was trying to encourage the employees to be diligent in their workmanship and that the reliability of the product (the TALOS missile) is everyone's job.   The publication was illustrated by William H. Johnson. Mr. Crosby was a quality engineer and Mr. Johnson was responsible for a reliability education program, the first in the aerospace industry.  A copy of this publication is held in the History and Archives Department of The Library.  

The publication was loaned to The Library by William H. Johnson.

Photo of Philip Crosby, William Johnson and a Boy Scout at a presentation for the Martin Company.

Mr. Crosby gave presentations for the Martin Company to various groups in the community.

During Mr. Crosby's years with the Martin Company, (now Lockheed Martin), he and artist William Johnson would go to various service groups, churches and like organizations to explain the Martin Company to them. This was Martin's public relations effort to educate the community, tell them how Martin worked and something about the company. During the presentation, Mr. Crosby would explain what kind of missile systems there were: air to air, air to ground, ground to air, ground to ground. The audience selected one of these and named the system. They picked a propulsion system, the control system and the launch type after he described the options. At the end of his talk, Mr. Johnson came forward with a color drawing of their missile with the name they had chosen and the Martin logo on it. They did many of these drawings and everyone seemed to like them.   According to an account in Mr. Crosby's autobiography Quality and Me, the name chosen most often for the weapon, particularly in churches, was "Killer". In an interview with Mr. Johnson, who loaned this photograph and the Bendix publication to our archives, they even appeared on a local television show with this presentation.

This photo was taken at a meeting of Boy Scouts.   Naturally, the missile was named "The Scout"!   In the photo from left to right is: one of the Boy Scouts, Philip B. Crosby and William H. Johnson.  

Photo was loaned to The Library by William H. Johnson.

Philip Crosby giving a presentation.

Philip Crosby in one of his favorite settings, the classroom.

The first Quality College classes were held in classroom space at Rollins College. Mr. Crosby enjoyed teaching and felt that management had to understand the quality concepts before the organization could be successful.  

Photo of Quality College in 1985)

The Quality College™ 1985

The Vincent Building (named after Bob Vincent, Phil's longtime colleague and friend), this building was located at 111 N. Orlando Avenue.  According to an article in the February 23, 1984 newspaper, Outlook, each year nearly 6,000 executives came to Winter Park to attend The Quality College™.

Philip Crosby & Associates building on Morse Boulevard in 1987.

The Philip Crosby Associates building on Morse Boulevard in 1987

Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Crosby with Mr. and Mrs. Reagan.

Mr. and Mrs. Philip Crosby with former President Ronald and Mrs. Reagan

On February 4, 1990, former President Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Reagan received the House of Hope Humanitarian Award. This award recognized the Reagans for their support for the House of Hope which is a home for abused and runaway girls.   In the photo from left to right is Mrs. Peggy Crosby, former President Ronald Reagan, Mrs. Nancy Reagan and Mr. Philip Crosby.

Philip Crosby Associates, Inc. Board of Directors.

Philip Crosby Associates, Inc. Board Of Directors, 1989

The above photograph, taken in 1989, shows Paula Hawkins and the Board of the Winter Park-based Philip Crosby Associates, Inc.  Pictured from left to right are:  Pamela Gray, Philip B. Crosby, Clifford M. Hames, Senator Paula Hawkins, Russell P. Hulbert, Larry N. McFadin, Philip B. Crosby, Jr., and Lance H. Arrington.

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