Galvin oversaw remarkable growth and innovation during his 29-year tenure as CEO of Motorola. When he took over in 1959 on the death of his father, Motorola founder Paul V. Galvin, the company had annual sales of $290 million, primarily in North America. Building on the strong foundation he established with his father in Communications, Automotive, Military Electronics, Semiconductor and Consumer products, Galvin transformed Motorola into a global technology leader with $10.8 billion in sales in 1990, the year he stepped down as chairman. Due in large part to his vision and leadership, Motorola received the U.S. Commerce Department's first Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Manufacturing in 1988.
Galvin was born in 1922 in Marshfield, Wisconsin. He attended Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois, where he excelled in academics, student government, the debating society, and sports. He went on to attend the University of Notre Dame. Starting full-time with Motorola in 1944, Galvin earned his way up through various positions before being named president in 1956. He was chief executive officer of Motorola from 1959 to 1988 and retained senior-most executive responsibility as chairman of the company throughout a planned succession completed in 1990. He retired from the board of directors in 2001.
Galvin was a devoted husband of 67 years to Mary Barnes Galvin and an inspiring and loving father to his four children - Gail Galvin Ellis, Dawn Galvin Meiners, and Christopher and Michael Galvin.more » « less