National Academy of Engineering, Volume 2
Tribute Author
Membership Directory
PublisherNational Academies Press
ReleasedAugust 21, 1984
Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 2

Honoring the deceased members and international members of the National Academy of Engineering, this volume is an enduring record of the many contributions of engineering to humankind. This second volume of Memorial Tributes covers the period from January 1979 to April 1984.

Honoring the deceased members and international members of the National Academy of Engineering, this volume is an enduring record of the many contributions of engineering to humankind. This second volume of Memorial Tributes covers the period from January 1979 to April 1984.

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    CHARLES F. FOGARTY, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Texasgulf Inc ., died in a crash of his company aircraft on February 11, 1981, near White Plains, New York.

    Dr. Charles F. Fogarty was truly an extraordinary man. He was born in Denver, Colorado, on May 27, 1921, grew up and was educated through high school in a Christian Brothers' orphanage, thej. K. Mullen Home for Boys in Fort Logan, Colorado. He then earned his way at the Colorado School of Mines with the help of a Denver Post scholarship and received an Engineer of Mines degree in 1942. His accomplishments in industry were as spectacular and impressive as his success in achieving an education . He was instru­mental in transforming and expanding Texasgulf from a sulfur com­pany into a broad-based mineral company in the space of a few years.

    After receiving his degree from the Colorado School of Mines in 1942, Dr. Fogarty entered military service as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Corps of Engineers . He left the service as a Major in 1946 and took a position as Senior Geologist with the Sacony Vacuum Oil Company of Columbia where he stayed until 1950. Then he returned to the Colorado School of Mines to obtain a Doctor of Science degree in geology. He began his career with Texasgulf in 1952 in exploration and geology and advanced steadily to positions of increasing responsibility, becoming Director in 1962, President in 1968, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1973.

    Dr. Fogarty had a deep interest in the earth, its formation and structure, and an affinity for natural resources. When he joined Texasgulf it produced one product-sulfur. Under his leadership and drive, exploration was expanded and, combined with his skill as a geologist, Jed to dramatic results. Texasgulf was transformed into a diversified natural resources company producing, in addition to sul­fur, zinc, silver, phosphate, potash, copper, lead, cadmium, tin, ironore, coal, forest products, and gas and oil. Dr. Fogarty was the driving force and the major instrument in achieving this expansion in products. In addressing the Newcomen Society in New York in 1975 he explained, "Perhaps one of our greatest rewards is being close to the earth and in direct contact with its variety, mystery, power and beauty." Perhaps the crowning achievement of the explo­ration effort was the discovery of the ore body in Timmins, Ontario, one of the most important mines in North America.

    The objectives that shaped Texasgulf were articulated by Dr. Fogarty early in his career. In 1959 an attractive merger proposal being considered by the Board of Directors was viewed with dismay by him and his associates. To persuade the board to reject this proposal, Dr. Fogarty prepared a memorandum that stated in part:
    Our ultimate objective is to become a diversified natural resource company with sulphur contributing approxim atel y 50 percent of the income and nonsulphur minerals (oil, gas, base metals, potash, phosphate, etc.) the balance. We feel that with our present cash generating ability, experienced and capable Board of Directors and management experience, we can achieve this within a reasonable time. . . .

    That these objectives were realized in the space of a few years testifies to his exceptional personal qualities. He was able not only to conceive of ambitious objectives, but to communicate his beliefs and enthusiasm to his associates with such conviction that they had no doubts of achieving what might have originally appeared to be unreachable goals. Charles Fogarty was able to inspire people, to stretch their capabilities, and to channel their work into a powerful team effort. He had exceptional intensity of purpose, that rare qual­ity essential for any great achievement.

    Dr. Fogarty was a compassionate, kind, thoughtful, and deeply religious man who loved his family and in a sense extended the warmth and understanding of a family relationship to all those asso­ciated with him. His life was replete with examples of the help rendered to many people. Under his leadership Texasgulf was one of the first companies to abolish hourly wages and make every employee salaried.

    Besides being a corporate director of seven companies, he was a director of a number of mining and geological institutes, and a Trustee of the Colorado School of Mines. He received the Hal Wil­liams Hardinge Award of the American Institute of Mining, Metal­lurgical and Petroleum Engineers; the Distinguished Achievement Medal of the Colorado School of Mines; and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1976.

    Dr. Charles F. Fogarty's achievements both as a man and as a scientist and industrialist stand as an inspiration and example to all of us but especially to young people starting their careers. He left the world a better place than he found it and takes his place with the illustrious people who have individually contributed so much to the benefit of society.

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