Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

William L. Weiss

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

William L. Weiss

Article excerpt

Weiss, William L.

May 21, 1929 - October 10, 2016

William L. Weiss was born in Big Run, Pennsylvania (Jefferson County) and attended grade and high school in that community, graduating in 1947. He then entered the engineering school at Penn State, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1951. Shortly after graduation, he was commissioned in the United States Air Force as a Communications Officer and served with the 155th Tactical Air Control Group in the United States and Europe during the Korean War period, 1951-1953.

Following his Air Force service, Bill (as he preferred to be called) began his career in the telecommunications industry, starting with assignments in the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania. He became a vice president of Pennsylvania Bell in 1973 and successively became operating vice president of Wisconsin Telephone in 1976, president of Indiana Bell in 1978 and president of Illinois Bell in 1981. In 1982, the AT&T Company announced that it had reached a divestiture agreement with the United States Department of Justice, and Bill was named to head the regional telephone company being formed in the upper mid-west. On January 1, 1984, that company assumed operations under the name "Ameritech", and he served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until his retirement on May 31, 1994. At that time, the "William L. Weiss Chair in Information and Communications Technology" was established in his honor at Penn State's College of Engineering by the Ameritech Foundation.

Bill was a retired director of Abbott Laboratories, Hospira, Merrill Lynch, Quaker Oats and Tenneco. He was a retired trustee of a number of institutions, including Penn State and its Hershey Medical Center, Northwestern University, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Lyric Opera. He was a past member of the boards of the Museum of Science and Industry (Chairman 1989-1992), the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (Chairman 1991-1994), and the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Chairman of its Civic Committee. …

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