John F. Magee ’47, H’96, Bowdoin Trustee emeritus, died on May 5, 2014, at his home in Concord, Massachusetts.
He was born in Bangor, on December 23, 1926, and completed his studies at John Bapst High School in three years at the top of his class, described by the principal as “exemplifying the best scholastic and moral traditions of the school.” His Bowdoin education was interrupted by World War II. He enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned as an ensign, serving as a Japanese interpreter and translator in the Office of Naval Intelligence. A member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, he returned to Bowdoin, majored in mathematics, and graduated summa cum laude, as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, in September of 1946 as a member of the Class of 1947. He earned an M.B.A. with high distinction at Harvard in 1948, and began working for the consulting firm of Arthur D. Little in Cambridge, Mass., in the Operations Research Group. Along the way, he earned a masters degree from the University of Maine in 1953. He was chosen to lead the ADL Management Services Division in 1963, was named president of the company in 1972, chief executive officer in 1974, and chairman of the Board of Directors in 1986. On his watch, Arthur D. Little expanded its client base to span the globe. He also oversaw the establishment and growth of the ADL Management Educational Institute, unique as a subsidiary of a profit-making firm authorized and accredited to grant masters degrees in management. He was a pioneer in the field of operations research and was the author of several books on the subject, including Production Planning and Inventory Control (McGraw-Hill, 1958), which has been translated into French, Dutch, Japanese, Italian and Portuguese, and Physical Distributions Systems (McGraw-Hill, 1967). He was a founding member of the Operations Research Society of America, and served as its president. In May of 1978, the Society awarded him the George E. Kimball Medal for distinguished service. He is a past president of the Institute of Management Sciences. In 2002, he was elected a Life Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science. He is a former member of the Boards of Directors of Houghton Mifflin Company and John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. He remained active long after his official retirement in 1988. He served at various times as an overseer of the Boston Museum of Science; trustee and governor of the New England Aquarium; member of the Trustee Council of the Boston University Medical Center; Honorary Trustee of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; member of the Board of Trustees of Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, including five years as chairman; member and president of the Commercial Club of Boston; trustee of the USS Constitution Museum; member of the boards of directors of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the New England Council, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and the Massachusetts High Technology Council. He served for several years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Concord Municipal Light Plant, two terms on the Board of Governors of the Concord Country Club and for several years as a member and Secretary of the Board of Directors of Emerson Hospital. He is survived by daughter Catherine M. Milligan, sons John J. Magee and Andrew S. Magee ’77, five grandchildren (including Mary T. Magee ’09 and Laura A. Magee ’11) and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased in 2009 by his wife of 60 years, Dorothy Hundley Magee.