Paul G. Hoffman

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Paul G. Hoffman
Paul Hoffman (1950).jpg
Paul Hoffman (1950)
Born Paul Gray Hoffman
April 26, 1891
Western Springs, Illinois
Died October 8, 1974 (1974-10-09) (aged 83)
Occupation Automobile company executive, Director, Economic Co-operation Administration, administering the Marshall Plan
Employer Studebaker Corporation
Economic Cooperation Administration
Board member of Studebaker Corporation
Ford Foundation

Paul Gray Hoffman (26 April 1891 – 8 October 1974 in New York City) was an American automobile company executive, statesman and global development aid administrator.

Hoffman was born in Western Springs, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He quit college at 18 to sell Studebaker cars in Los Angeles, had made his first million dollars by the age of 34, and became president of Studebaker ten years later. Hoffman and Harold Sines Vance were the two executives most responsible for rescuing Studebaker from insolvency in the 1930s.[1]:p.98–104

Hoffman being sworn in as administrator of the Economic Recovery Corporation (1948)

From 1935 to 1948, Hoffman served as president of Studebaker. He took a leave of absence to spend a two-year term (1948–50) as director of the Economic Cooperation Administration, administering the Marshall Plan aid program to Europe following World War II. From 1950 to 1953, he also served as the president of the Ford Foundation.

Returning to Studebaker in 1953, Hoffman was chairman of the corporation during the turbulent period leading up to and during the 1954 merger with the Packard Motor Car Company. When Studebaker-Packard found itself nearing insolvency in 1956, the company entered into an Eisenhower Administration-brokered management agreement with Curtiss-Wright. Hoffman, Vance (who had become chairman of the executive committee after the Packard merger) and S-P president James J. Nance all left the company.

From 1966 to 1972, he was the first administrator of the United Nations Development Programme when it was founded, with David Owen as his co-administrator.[2][dead link]

On June 21, 1974, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon.[3]



  1. ^ Longstreet, Stephen. A Century on Wheels: The Story of Studebaker. New York: Henry Holt and Company. p. 121. 1st edn., 1952. 
  2. ^ Biography at United Nations
  3. ^ UN booster is given nation's highest honor. Lodi News-Sentinel June 22, 1974. Accessed December 1, 2015

Further reading[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Founding of the UNDP
Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
Succeeded by
Rudolph A. Peterson