Curriculum Vitae of America's 'Quintessential Entrepreneur'
Eugene M. Lang's resume reads like a primer on American ingenuity. It makes passing reference, in fact, to the phrase most commonly used to describe the 69-year-old industrialist: the "quintessential entrepreneur."
After an economically hard early life, Mr. Lang graduated from Swarthmore College in 1938, then received a master's degree in science from Columbia University and studied mechanical engineering at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute.
In 1949, the invention of an industrial fastener led to his co-founding of the Heli-Coil Corporation, a business-tool manufacturing concern that is now the Emhart Corporation. During the 1940's, he also co-founded a chemical company and a financial4publication, managed an aircraft-parts factory, and served as a consultant to others on the creation of new manufacturing ventures.
Since 1952, he has been president of refac Technology Development Corporation, which bills itself as "the world's largest single organization specializing in the negotiation and administration of manufacturing licenses and joint ventures."
Mr. Lang is also the chairman of Electronic Research Associates, Inc., a Connecticut-based manufacturer of electronic display devices, switches, and keyboards, and of Certified Electronics Limited of Taiwan. He serves as a director of Alexander's Inc., a department-store chain, and of Grough Econ Inc., a North Carolina manufactur8er of materials-handling equipment. He is, in addition, chairman of the board of Scriptomatic, Inc., a Philadelphia manufacturer of office equipment.
Added to this industrial portfolio is an equally long list of civic and philanthropic activities, public-service posts, and honors and awards.
He has held an almost continuous succession of federal advisory posts on science, trade, and economic policy since 1956, and has provided leadership to a wide range of groups in education, the arts, social services, and political action.
Perhaps the most telling recognition in a long list of encomiums, however, is the Horatio Alger Award, given annually to one who has succeeded in life despite difficult odds.