Roger M. Blough (January 19, 1904 – October 8, 1985) was the chairman and chief executive of the United States Steel Corporation for 13½ years, from May 1955 through January 1969. In this position, he is best known for serving as the American steel industry’s principal spokesman when the industry clashed in April 1962 with President John F. Kennedy on the issue of commodity steel prices.
Biography and honors
Blough attended Susquehanna University.
When Time magazine featured Blough in July 1959, they drew attention to the challenges facing the steel industry in the late 1950s, including inflation and competition from non-U.S. steel exporters. He served as Chairman of The Business Council in 1961 and 1962.
As a consequence of this inflation, Blough told the White House in April 1962 that it was the intent of the U.S. steel industry to raise a basket of steel prices by a scale averaging $6.00/ton. President Kennedy believed that this price increase violated an unwritten agreement that he had brokered between the industry and the United Steel Workers union, and called a press conference in response, held on April 11, 1962. In nationally televised remarks, the President described Blough as one of: “a tiny handful of steel executives whose pursuit of private power and profit exceeds their sense of public responsibility. . . . Some time ago I asked each American to consider what he would do for his country and I asked the steel companies. In the last 24 hours we had their answer.” Blough and U.S. Steel rolled back the threatened price hike.
Motor vessel Roger Blough, an iron ore bulk carrier vessel built for U.S. Steel in 1968-72 and used starting in 1972 in Great Lakes service to transport taconite pellets from Lake Superior to ports on Lake Erie and Lake Michigan, was named in his honor. As of 2014 this vessel remains in service.
- List of people on the cover of Time magazine (1950s) - 20 July 1959
- Cuff, Daniel F. (1985-10-10). "Roger N. Blough, 81, Dies; Led U.S. Steel for 13 Years". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
- "U.S. Steel's Roger Blough". Time. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
- The Business Council, Official website, Background
- "The Unfulfilled Promise". Democratic Underground. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
- "Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature". Boatnerd.com. Retrieved 2012-07-24.