Thomas J. Watson Ê

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Thomas J. Watson

1874- 1956

Industrialist

Entrepreneur Thomas Watson was born in rural New York. He grew up on a farm, which he left to find his fortune. Watson was a natural salesman and had a number of jobs before beginning work for National Cash Register Company. He worked for the firm for nearly 17 years, at which time NCR's mecurial owner forced him out.

Watson went on to become the President of Computer Tabulating Recording, Inc. Watson changed the name of the business to International Business Machines (IBM).

IBM received an order from the newly established Social Security Administration to help maintains its records. After World War II, Watson began to move IBM into the era of electronic computers, paving the way for IBM to become a world leader in the field of technology. In 1956, he stepped down and was succeeded by his son.