Frederick R. Kappel

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Frederick R. Kappel (died in 1994)

"Mr. Kappel spent 43 years at AT&T, joining the company in 1924 after graduating from the University of Minnesota. He started as a $25-a-week digger of telephone poles for the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Minnesota.

"He rose steadily, and in 1954 became president of Western Electric, the company's manufacturing subsidiary. Two years later he was named president and chief executive of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, as it was known then, and was elected chairman in 1961.

"During his 11-year tenure as Ma Bell's top executive, a period when the local Bell telephone companies were still a part of AT&T, the number of the company's telephones grew by more than 60 percent, to more than 80 million, and the number of shareholders doubled, to more than three million.

"When he retired in 1967, Mr. Kappel said he had no regrets about how he had spent his career...

"President Lyndon B. Johnson named Mr. Kappel as chairman of a number of Presidential commissions, including the Commission on Postal Organization, and in 1967 he was appointed to a special mediation board in a railroad dispute.

"Under President Richard M. Nixon, Mr. Kappel was a governor of the United States Postal Service and, from 1972 to 1974, its chairman.

"In between government assignments, Mr. Kappel held posts at the International Paper Company. He was chairman of International Paper's board from 1969 to 1971, and chairman of its executive committee from 1971 to 1972.

"He also was a director of a number of corporations, including the Chase Manhattan Bank and the General Foods Corporation.

"After he retired from the phone company a chair was endowed in his name at the University of Minnesota Graduate School of Business.

"Besides his wife, whom he married in 1978, Mr. Kappel is survived by two daughters, Kathleen M. Rose of Edina, Minn., and Carolyn E. Boak of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; a brother, Robert, of Matteson, Ill.; three grandchildren and three stepgrandchildren. Mr. Kappel's first wife, Ruth, whom he married in 1927, died in 1974." [1]

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