Joseph M. Juran 1904-2008

Many of you have recently heard about the tremendous loss to the Quality profession. There is a press release from Juran Institute and a forum discussion.

I had an email forwarded to me from the leaders of the Joseph M. Juran Center for Leadership in Quality. Below is the email:

  February 29, 2008

Dear Friends:

It is with great sadness that we learned today that Dr. Joseph M. Juran passed away on February 28, 2008, of natural causes. He was 103 years old and was physically and mentally active until his death.

The Juran family has decided at this time not to conduct a service. The Juran Institute will prepare to hold a service for Dr. Juran in conjunction with the annual ASQ Congress in the spring.

During the past century, Joseph M. Juran put forth a vision for a world made better through a commitment to quality. The Joseph M. Juran Center for Leadership in Quality owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Juran for his role and support in developing the academic foundation needed for his vision. In 1998, Dr. Juran transferred the Juran Foundation and its assets to the University of Minnesota. With this additional support and recognition, the University of Minnesota’s Quality Leadership Center—renamed the Joseph M. Juran Center—has served as a resource to leaders, scholars and students of quality. Most significantly, Dr. Juran’s support allowed the Center to create a fellowship program for doctoral students conducting research in quality. Over the last 10 years, the Center has named nearly 50 Juran Fellows who represent a dozen leading research universities and many fields and disciplines.

In addition to the foundation, Dr. Juran also transferred his professional memorabilia and papers to the University of Minnesota. The memorabilia includes more than 100 framed plaques, trophies and medals, including the Order of the Sacred Treasure, which was conferred upon Dr. Juran in 1981 by the Emperor of Japan for Dr. Juran’s development of quality control in Japan and the facilitation of friendship between the United States and Japan.

In Dr. Juran’s autobiography, The Architect of Quality, he says that the Center has undertaken an ambitious initiative “to stimulate formation of a national movement toward leadership in quality.” In Dr. Juran’s memory, we need to recommit ourselves with renewed vigor for all of the things he valued and worked so hard for all of his life.


Kingshuk K. Sinha
Carlson Family Foundation Professor
Director, Joseph M. Juran Center for Leadership in Quality

Jim Buckman
Executive Director
Joseph M. Juran Center for Leadership in Quality

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Comments 3

  1. Stu

    Do we need any more proof that quality management AND quality practices espoused by Juran, Deming, Shewhart, Ishikawa, Scholtes and Hunter are really what are needed to solve both business and governmental and societal issues?

    What will happen to the quality management effort as many of the original thought leaders retire or pass on? Who will step up to lead – not sell, market, repackage and market again?

    "Deming’s (Juran’s) philosophy, we concluded, represents a means by which people can contribute to the evolution of the human spirit. Therefore as you engage in improving your workplace and pleasing your customers, you may consciously be attending to the immediate benefits of improvement occurring at this time and this place. But your efforts may be part of something far greater".

    Peter Scholtes and Bill Hunter

  2. Rob

    I recall a great quote from Juran, “Fanaticism: Redoubling your efforts after your objective has been forgotten.”

  3. conrad leiva

    I believe that the legacy of Juran and Deming will be with us for a long time. Part of Juran’s work was to recruit top thinkers in the Quality field to work together and contribute to the field. The Juran Institute will continue to promote the Quality field. The Quality field will continue to grow and the next generation of Quality thought leaders are sure to be inspired by Juran. For more comments on Juran, visit my site at

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