Joseph M. Juran, a pioneer of quality management whose "Quality Control Handbook" revolutionized how companies around the world made and sold products, has died. He was 103.
Juran died Thursday after suffering an apparent stroke, his family said.
The "Quality Control Handbook" was first published in 1951, and at least five more editions followed. The book describes the mathematical basis for quality improvements.
Juran believed that quality improvements were key to businesses' survival and profits _ not only for manufacturers, but for enterprises as diverse as scientific organizations, hospitals, supermarkets and Internet companies.
He worked as a quality control consultant, lecturer and author until he was in his 90s, son Donald Juran said. "He always told me, `Never be without a project,' and he never was," he said.
Juran attended the University of Minnesota and started his career in Chicago at Western Electric Co., the former manufacturing arm of AT&T, trying to resolve product defects, his son said.
During World War II, Juran worked in Washington, eliminating bottlenecks that hindered timely equipment shipments to U.S. allies overseas, and worked to minimize defective exports.
After teaching industrial engineering briefly at New York University, he became a hired expert, helping companies come up with quality control standards, his family said. In 1979, he founded Juran Institute, an organization aimed at providing companies with research and advice on managing quality.