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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DIVELY, GEORGE SAMUEL - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DIVELY, GEORGE SAMUEL (17 Dec. 1902-1 Nov. 1988) was a prominent business and civic leader in Cleveland. He led the HARRIS CORP. from 1941-1972 from a small manufacturer of printing presses to a multi-national producer of high-technology communications and information processing equipment.

Born in Claysburg, Pa. to Michael and Martha (Dobson), Dively attended Lock Haven State College, earned a B.S.E.E. at the University of Pittsburgh (1925) and an M.B.A. from Harvard University (1929). After graduation he worked at North American Refractories, in investment banking, and at Republic Steel Corp.

Dively joined Harris-Seybold-Potter Co. of Cleveland in 1937 as an assistant to the secretary. He became a director in 1941, vice-president and general manager in 1944, and president in 1947. He served as both president and chairman from 1954-196l when he resigned the presidency, continuing as board chairman until his retirement in 1972.

Under Dively's leadership Harris' annual sales increased from $10 million to $2 billion. He also orchestrated a series of acquisitions, including a merger with Radiation Inc. (1967) and the relocation of company headquarters to Florida, where Harris became the largest industrial employer.

Dively was co-founder of the Cleveland One-Percent Plan to encourage corporate support for higher education and participated in leadership of CLEVELAND NOW!, CLEVELAND TOMORROW, and other urban improvement efforts. In 1956 he endowed the GEORGE S. DIVELY FOUNDATION to assist various charitable and educational interests.

Dively married Harriet Seeds (died 1968) in 1933. They had one son, Michael. Dively married Juliette Gaudin in 1969. He died in Florida and was cremated.

George S. Dively Papers, WRHS.

George S. Dively Foundation Records, WRHS.

Last Modified: 15 Jul 1997 03:01:23 PM

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