Harry McGowan, 1st Baron McGowan

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Harry Duncan McGowan, 1st Baron McGowan KBE (3 June 1874 – 13 July 1961), was a prominent British businessman.

McGowan was the only son of Harry McGowan Esq. and his wife Agnes (née Wilson), and was educated at Hutchesons' Grammar School and Allan Glen's School, Glasgow. He joined Nobel's Explosives Company and worked his way to professional manager. During the First World War McGowan carried out a merger of most of the British explosives industry, and in 1918 he became Chairman and Managing Director of Explosives Trade Ltd (from 1920 known as Nobel Industries Ltd). In 1926 this company merged with Brunner Mond, the United Alkali Company and the British Dyestuffs Corporation to form Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). He succeeded Lord Melchett as Chairman and Managing Director in 1930 and remained Chairman until 1950. McGowan was appointed a KBE in 1928 and on 24 February 1937 he was raised to the peerage as Baron McGowan, of Ardeer in the County of Ayr.[1]

Lord McGowan married Jean, daughter of William Young, in 1903. They had two sons and two daughters. He died in July 1961, aged 87, and was succeeded in the barony by his elder son Harry.


  1. ^ "no. 34375". The London Gazette. 26 February 1937. p. 1324. 
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron McGowan
Succeeded by
Harry Wilson McGowan