Ed Zschau

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Ed Zschau
Rep. Ed Zschau.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1987
Preceded byPaul N. McCloskey, Jr.
Succeeded byErnest L. Konnyu
Personal details
Edwin Van Wyck Zschau

(1940-01-06) January 6, 1940 (age 79)
Omaha, Nebraska
Political partyRepublican
Other political
Ed Zschau for Senate Campaign Button

Edwin Van Wyck Zschau (/ˈɛdwɪn ˈvæn wɪk ˈʃ/; born January 6, 1940) represented California's 12th District in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1987.[1] In 1986 he ran as the Republican candidate for a seat in the United States Senate. He defeated conservative Bruce Herschensohn and Congresswoman Bobbi Fiedler in the primary but then lost to incumbent Democrat Alan Cranston by a narrow margin.[2]

Zschau briefly re-entered the political arena as the vice presidential running mate to former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, a Democrat, who challenged Ross Perot for the Reform Party presidential nomination in 1996.[3]


Zschau was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Zschau is currently a visiting lecturer with rank of professor at Princeton University in the Departments of Electrical Engineering, Operations Research and Financial Engineering, and in the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education. Prior to his current post at Princeton, from 1997 to 2000, he was professor of management at the Harvard Business School and a visiting professor at Princeton University. Zschau's business experience is extensive. He founded and served from 1968 to 1981 as CEO of System Industries, a computer products company.

During the 1960s, Zschau was for five years an assistant professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, teaching courses in computer systems, management science, and business policy. In 1967–68 he was a visiting assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, where he taught the required first year MBA course in managerial economics. He has an A.B. degree (cum laude) in philosophy from Princeton University and M.B.A., M.S. (statistics), and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University.

Also during the 1960s Zscau founded a computer company, System Industries. One of his collaborators in founding this company was Henry B. Eyring.[4]

In 1987 Zschau became a general partner of Brentwood Associates, a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm, and in 1988, he was elected chairman and CEO of Censtor Corp., a company which had been founded by Brentwood to develop advanced magnetic recording components for disk drives. He was recruited to be chairman and CEO of Adstar, the IBM Storage Systems Division in 1993.[5]

Zschau is also the founding chairman, emeritus, and a member of the National Advisory Board of The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, is on the board of scholars of the ACCF Center for Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and is a fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology. He serves as chairman of the board of NanoOpto Corporation, Princeton Power Systems, and StarTek, Inc.[6] (NYSE), President of Polyera Corporation, as a director of The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (NYSE), and Washington Live, Inc.

Zschau and his wife, Jo, currently reside in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Los Altos, California. They have one son and two daughters.

Zschau is skilled in playing the ukulele and was known to some as the "singing congressman".[7]


  1. ^ Kane, William D. (1982-12-18). "Zschau, McCloskey set Stanislaus talking tour". The Modesto Bee.
  2. ^ Chance, Amy (1990-11-10). "Zschau not interested in Senate appointment". Lodi News-Sentinel.
  3. ^ AP (1996-08-06). "The Reform Party hopeful chooses former California Rep. Ed Zschau". Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  4. ^ Robert I. Eaton and Henry J. Eyring, I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013. p. 112
  5. ^ Fisher, Lawrence (1993-04-24). "I.B.M. Gives Adstar Storage Unit More Autonomy". the New York Times.
  6. ^ "Harvey A. Wagner Joins StarTek Board of Directors".
  7. ^ Eaton and Eyring, I Will Lead You Along, p. 112

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Paul N. McCloskey, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 12th congressional district

January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1987
Succeeded by
Ernest L. Konnyu
Party political offices
Preceded by
Paul Gann
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from California (Class 3)
Succeeded by
Bruce Herschensohn