The formative years of W. Edwards Deming were shaped by a frontier upbringing that extolled the importance of people, the value of cooperation, and the deadliness of waste. There is no doubt that these values shaped his life and his beliefs of doing the best you can, continually seeking to improve upon that effort, and supporting the people you are responsible for.
This period in W. Edwards Deming's life is that of a young man beginning to reach out and hit his stride inside and outside the halls of academia. It's also a time of building a new family, and character building through a burgeoning set of signature traits: a tireless learner, educator, worker, and devoted husband and father.
In roughly a 10-year span, W. Edwards Deming experiences some of the highest and lowest points in his life. Professionally, he makes tremendous strides in combining groundbreaking theories in statistical analysis with real-world applications. In his personal life he is rocked by the passing of his young wife and father, only to find the strength and courage to remarry and rebuild.
The years prior to and after WWII are a period in which W. Edwards Deming makes significant contributions to a number of U.S. government agencies through his knowledge and uses of advanced statistical methods. It's also a time of increased esteem from colleagues in his field, and growing interest in his work nationally and internationally.
If there is a shining period in W. Edwards Deming's career it would be the years he spent working with the leaders of Japanese industry during the 1950s. The meteoric rise of Japan as an industrial and economic powerhouse after WWII, and the honors bestowed upon him by Japanese society are testament to the power of his transformative theories and teachings.
This period in W. Edwards Deming's life can be said to be "international in scope" and culminates in his retirement from a long-standing professorship at NYU. Indeed, his theories and teachings during this time found a wider acceptance within a wider audience, through a combination of prestigious lectures and important consulting work around the world.
This is a remarkable period in the life of W. Edwards Deming, including a new found level of interest by Americans in his theories and teachings. It's also a period of nonstop lecturing to tens of thousands of people, consulting for leading corporations, and prolific writing. All for a man who when asked why he continued to work so hard so late in life, characteristically answered, "So much to do, and so little time."
|Finishing Education, Starting A Family And Career|
|1917 — 1921||W. Edwards Deming attends college at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, supporting himself by doing all kinds of work; earns B.S. degree in engineering.|
|1920||Mother dies in Rochester, Minnesota.|
|1921 — 1922||Teaches in the School of Engineering, University of Wyoming, while studying mathematics at the same time.|
|June 1922||Marries Agnes Belle.|
|1922 — 1924||Assistant professor of physics at the Colorado School of Mines.|
In the summers he attends the University of Colorado, receiving a master's degree in mathematics and physics in 1925
|1924||Adopts daughter Dorothy at 14 months old.|
|1925||Earns master's degree in physics and mathematics from University of Colorado.|
|1925 — 1926||During two summers works at Western Electric's Hawthorne Works in Chicago. Hawthorne Works is a site for mass production of telephone equipment; during this time the famous Hawthorne Experiments on industrial productivity are run.|
|1926||Pursues doctoral work in mathematical physics at Yale University, with a part-time teaching position.|
Deming is formally awarded the degree in June 1928. His Ph.D. dissertation is on the packing of nucleons in the helium atom: A Possible Explanation of the Packing Effect of Helium.