OBIT Former Lockheed president Charles Wagner dies.
Wagner was named president of the Lockheed-California Co. and group vice president of the Lockheed Aircraft Corp. in November 1965, serving in that role until his retirement in November 1971.
In a story published at the time of his retirement, Wagner's 35-year Lockheed career was termed an "industrial Horatio Alger story," describing his rise from his first job as a tool maker in 1936 to company president. In fact, he always kept his wooden tool box in his office as a reminder of his early years.
As vice president and program director of the C-141 StarLifter program at Lockheed-Georgia from 1961-1965, Wagner led development of the world's first all-jet military transport, and Lockheed-Georgia's first full development program. Wagner was recognized for keeping development and production well ahead of schedule with the first aircraft rolling out only 2 years and 5 months after contract award.
Wagner was largely responsible for Lockheed's reentry into the commercial airliner business with the L-1011 TriStar. As Lockheed president during TriStar development, Wagner's "hard work, humanistic leadership and high moral values" were critical in moving the company through some of the difficult challenges of that program's early years.
Wagner was born in San Antonio during the family's move west to California. He grew up in Bakersfield and worked a number of odd jobs there, such as an oil-field hand and hearse driver. He attended Bakersfield Junior College and the University of Southern California. He also completed the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration.
He went to work for Lockheed in Burbank in 1936 as a tool maker, and in 10 years was named Chief Tool Engineer. He was involved in such early Lockheed programs as the Constellation and Electra.
In 1951, Wagner was named Chief Manufacturing Engineer. In 1957, he became manufacturing manager, and two years later was named to the corporate staff as executive assistant to the executive vice president.
Services for Wagner will be Thursday at the San Fernando Mission in Los Angeles, with burial in the mission cemetery.
Wagner is survived by his wife, Garnet Wagner; a daughter, Carole Boersma of Simi Valley, Calif.; two sons, Charles R. Wagner of Acworth, Ga., and John Wagner of Bakersfield, Calif.
CONTACT: Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Co., Marietta, Ga.
Doug Oliver, 404/494-6208
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|Date:||Jan 24, 1995|
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