Joseph Gorman, former president of TRW, dies

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Joseph T. Gorman, a Theodore Roosevelt High School and Kent State University alumnus and former TRW, Inc. president, died Sunday at the age of 75.

In 2000, Mr. Gorman made a $2.5 million gift to KSU to endow a chair within the College of Education. At the time it was largest alumni gift in the history of the school. The gift was made in honor of his parents, Rebecca (Toller) Gorman and the late Burton W. Gorman and was to endow the Rebecca Toller and Burton W. Gorman Chair for Leadership in Education. Burton Gorman taught at KSU from 1954 to 1972 and chaired the education department. He died in 1999.

At the time of his gift, Joseph Gorman said he was glad to be part of helping KSU provide strong leadership in education.

"Education is crucial to today's global economy, and the importance of educational innovation and leadership will only increase in the future," he said.

Mr. Gorman was born in Rising Sun, Ind., and grew up in Tennessee and in Kent.

A 1955 Roosevelt graduate, Mr. Gorman was inducted into the Kent City Schools Hall of Fame in 2002. He held a degree in political science from KSU and a law degree from Yale Law School. He began practicing corporate law in 1963 with the Cleveland firm of Baker, Hostetler and Patterson before joining TRW's legal department in 1968.

He became president of TRW, an automotive, aerospace and defense conglomerate, in 1985 and added the titles of chairman and chief executive officer three years later.

Mr. Gorman led TRW through its largest period of growth by adding information system and auto parts companies. TRW annual sales grew to $19 billion in a short time in the 1990s but also increased the company's debt, making it attractive for a takeover. Mr. Gorman retired in 2001 after 30 years with the firm and TRW was taken over by Northrop Grumman a year later.

Mr. Gorman was a member of numerous trade and community groups including the U.S. Automotive Select Panel, the Trilateral Commission and the Japan Import Board. He was a founding member of the Ohio Governor's Education Management Council.

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