Joseph M Juran (1904 – 2008)

jmj.gifDr Joseph M Juran, one of quality’s most influential pioneers, transmigrated on Thursday, 28 February, at the age of 103.

Dr Juran. My Guru.

I was at a meeting in Pune, when I received an sms to call back. I did. My daughter, Jigisha, requested me to check my emails from Navin Dhedia, David Hutchins, and Howland Blackiston. I realized the inevitable.

Thoughts from Dr Juran’s Christmas 2006 letter flashed before me. I’d like to share the actual content:

“Another birthday looms ahead. On December 24, I am scheduled to become 102 years old. My wife will do the same next March. We had our 80th wedding anniversary last June. This may be close to a world record.

The new book (a joint project with my grandson David Juran, Ph.D., Cornell) continues to ooze out at a glacial pace. I am producing outlines to be fleshed out by Dr David after I am gone.

My wife and I continue to endure many ailments, aided by medicos and medications. Our quality of life is now poor, but we cling to life – it remains precious. And we are thankful that our numerous descendants are all alive.

Best wishes for 2007.


J M Juran”

Last Christmas, I did not receive a card from Dr Juran.

On reflecting about the pure-knowledge, global-responsibility, and disciplined-energy of the colossus, my thoughts flowed to the last two paragraphs in ‘Architect of Quality’, the autobiography of Dr Joseph M Juran (Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004) that reads as follows:

“So I have come to the end. I close this book with two messages. To those whose careers are in the field of managing for quality: thank your lucky stars. Your field will grow extensively during your life-time, especially in three of our giant industries – health, education, and government. There will be exciting opportunities for innovation and for service to society.

And to my beloved family: when I am gone, let no one weep for me. I have lived a wonderful life.”

I feel very fortunate to have met and interacted with a man of such Biblical stature. As the Indian international representative of the Juran Institute, I received formal training on the Juran Trilogy from him, Dr Frank Gryna and Frank Tedesco, over the period 1986 to 1996 in Wilton, Paris, and London.

Dr Juran had mastered the art of demystifying the subject of Managing for Quality. His courseware on the subject will remain a benchmark.

In the mid 1990s, I had the privilege of being on the Board of Editors, for Dr Juran’s ‘A History of Managing for Quality’, ASQC Quality Press, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 1995. His systematic search for Indian quality exposed me to his enduring passion: history and anthropology.

In 1996, Dr Juran gave me permission to use his name for a Juran Medal, awarded to a role model statesman for quality in India. His key condition: his name could only be associated with a non-profit organization. The selection process is managed by the Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) and the award is named, IMC Juran Medal. This recognition has become a benchmark for quality leaders in India.

Effective 2008, the IMC will host an annual series of seminars on the teachings of Dr Joseph M Juran. In the words of Dr Juran, ‘Long live the quality revolution’.

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Dr JM Juran, Management

2 Comments on “Joseph M Juran (1904 – 2008)”

  1. […] those present the last letter I received from Dr Juran for Christmas 2006. (It has also appeared in my first blog). “Another birthday looms ahead. On December 24, I am scheduled to become 102 years old. My wife […]

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