Roy L. Ash, a co-founder and former president of Litton Industries who served as director of the Office of Management and Budget in the 1970s during the Nixon and Ford administrations.
A Los Angeles native, Ash was chief financial officer of Hughes Aircraft Co. in Culver City before partnering with former Hughes colleague Charles B. "Tex" Thornton in 1953 in a new company that soon led to the acquisition of a small microwave tube firm owned by Charles Litton in the Bay Area community of San Carlos.
Through a series of acquisitions, Beverly Hills-based Litton Industries became one of the fastest-growing conglomerates of the 1950s and '60s, a highly diversified and multinational company whose products ranged from manufacturing electronic typewriters and industrial microwave ovens to producing electronic guidance systems for aircraft and building ships.
Ash, who began as the company's chief fiscal officer, became president in 1961.
Litton Industries was one of the nation's largest military contractors by 1968, the year Ash became an advisor to President-elect Richard Nixon on ways to improve management and efficiency in the federal government.
Not long after Nixon took office in 1969, he chose Ash to head a new "and thorough" review of the organization of the executive branch. Ash served as chairman of the six-member President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization for two years.
In late 1972, Ash resigned as president of Litton Industries after Nixon announced that he would appoint him as director of the Office of Management and Budget, succeeding Caspar W. Weinberger.
Ash continued as budget director for several months under President Ford and resigned in late 1974.
In 1976, Ash was named chairman and chief executive of Addressograph-Multigraph Corp., a Cleveland-based major manufacturer of duplicating and other business machines. It was renamed AM International in 1979.
After he resigned from the company in 1981, Ash and his wife divided their time between Los Angeles and Virginia, where they bought three farms.
In the early '80s, Ash also served as vice chairman of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and was chairman of its finance commission.
Ash, who had been assigned to Harvard Business School as an officer candidate and later returned as a statistical management expert, had his undergraduate requirements waived at the school after the war. He finished first in his class and earned a master's degree in business administration in 1947.
Ash served on a number of boards of directors, including Bank of America Corp. He also was a member of the board of the Music Center, the Music Center Foundation and the Los Angeles Opera, of which he was chairman for five years.
In 2003, the Ashes endowed the Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
In addition to his wife of 68 years, he is survived by his sons, Charles, James and Robert; his daughters, Loretta Danko and Marilyn Hanna; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.