The Institute of General Semantics has learned that Bob Eddy, author of Graymanship: The Management of Organizational Imperfection — winner of the 2010 S. I. Hayakawa Book Prize — passed away on March 28th, 2014.
In an email, his sister Marilyn Eddy King recounted Bob’s multiple talents and faceted history:
Bob was a lifelong lover of classical music. In high school, he gained proficiency on the French horn and played with the Santa Cruz High School Orchestra, which performed, at one of its concerts, The Constitution Suite, a work Bob composed and orchestrated with one finger on a neighbor’s piano.
Always athletic, Bob was an avid racquetball player, taking first-place prizes in the Senior division of his state and area. He’d been known to defeat opponents half his age.
As a young man, Bob was a Sea Scout and a naval reserve officer. He completed his B.S. and M.B.A. degrees at UCLA, going on to become worldwide Personnel Director of Levi-Strauss, in charge of human resources for 26,000 employees. He held personnel and training positions at several large, well known corporations, establishing an in-house university at one. Finally, Bob built his own successful management consulting business in the Philadelphia area. His client list is long and numbers many friends and admirers.
Bob had four wives, three children, two step-children, six grandchildren, and was Uncle Bob to six more. His natal family provided him with an older brother and a younger sister, yours truly, who thinks the universe was created so Bob Eddy could be born. That a man so highly intelligent, creative, and exquisitely funny could occur in nature seems surely to have broken some genetic law.
Writes Bob’s sister:
If any of you feels the urge to honor Bob, my best suggestion is to buy his book, Graymanship: The Management of Organizational Imperfection […] and to share it with others. The book, his magnum opus, represents 40 years of dedicated work and sacrifice and is an enlightening read on dealing effectively with people, on the job and elsewhere. The book received the S. I. Hayakawa award for excellence from the Institute of General Semantics.