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Underwriters Laboratories has announced the passing of its former President Baron Whitaker, who died April 20 at age 86.

Whitaker joined UL in 1936 as assistant electrical engineer and advanced to various positions of increasing responsibility, including chief electrical engineer. He served as president and member of the Board of Trustees from April 1964 to his retirement in May 1978. At age 50, he was one of UL’s youngest presidents; under his leadership, UL’s engineering staff more than doubled.

Whitaker was actively involved with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), serving as a member of its board of directors, Executive Standards Board, Member Body Council, and Electrical and Electronics Standards Management Board. Whitaker also served on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) board of directors and was active in the National Electric Code (NEC) development, serving as chairman of the NEC Committee from 1961 to 1967 and as vice chairman from 1968 to 1972.

Whitaker also held leadership positions with several government organizations, including the president’s National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, the National Bureau of Standards’ Committee of Laboratory Evaluation and Accreditation, and the U.S. National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission.

He received many professional honors throughout his career, including ANSI’s Howard Coonley Medal in 1978 and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award. Other honors include being named a fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a life member of the NFPA, the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, and the National Society of Fire Protection Engineers and the Standards Engineering Society. //

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