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AMM Steel Hall of Fame: Class of 2012

Keywords: Tags  AMM Steel Hall of Fame, Luigi Danieli, Thomas C. Graham, Father William T. Hogan, Irving Rossi, John B. Tytus


The AMM Steel Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its Class of 2012 inductees: five distinguished individuals who pioneered, developed or furthered the practices, strategies and interests of the steel industry.

Luigi Danieli, Thomas C. Graham, Father William T. Hogan, Irving Rossi and John B. Tytus, selected after a rigorous nomination process and review by the Steel Hall of Fame voting committee, are profiled on the following pages. We believe they are a truly outstanding group of industry notables.

Earlier this year, we inducted the inaugural class to the AMM Steel Hall of Fame: Sir Henry Bessemer, Andrew Carnegie, Judge Elbert H. Gary, Yoshihiro Inayama, F. Kenneth Iverson, Willy Korf, Park Tae-joon and Charles M. Schwab, who were profiled in our March issue. Among the fledgling Steel Hall of Fame’s members, of which there are now 13, only Graham is still living, and we offer a special profile of him.

To be eligible for entry, a candidate must be retired from full-time active participation in the industry. AMM is proud to recognize the great achievers of the steel industry and celebrate their work at AMM.com. Over time, we expect to find a physical hall to host a permanent exhibit, but in the meantime a roving exhibit at a selection of AMM industry conferences will depict the work of these great pioneers.

The launch of the Steel Hall of Fame this year coincides with the 130th anniversary of AMM. Additional inductees will be announced in future issues.


Luigi Danieli
Luigi Danieli took a small, family owned company manufacturing steel mill equipment and used it to transform the global industry, developing new tools and techniques that ultimately made mini-mills the most efficient steel producers in the world. His introduction of the electric furnace-conticaster-rolling mill production route revolutionized the manufacture of steel in the 1970s and 1980s, and his influence is still felt at Danieli Corp., which today spans five continents.

Danieli installed its first mini-mill package in Germany in 1964, at the same time that the company was installing its first continuous caster for Italys Riva Group. By 1977, Danieli would install its first complete steel mill for a customer in East Germany.

Luigi Danieli was a strong believer in collaborative management. During the early 1980s, the company supplied numerous turnkey plants to customers in the United States, East Asia, North Africa and the former Soviet Union. Luigi Danieli became an ambassador to the global mini-mill industry, and his continued championing of large-scale investment in research and development made the company a world leader in providing plants for producing commercial long products.

Luigi Danieli passed away in 1993, but the company he had made synonymous with the manufacture of rolling and casting equipment for mini-mills worldwide was in good hands. During his tenure at the helm of Danieli, Luigi Danieli had overseen the erection of steel mills in 27 countries. By 1986, the company had either designed, built or manufactured equipment for about half of the 250 mini-mills that were then operating around the worldan unparalleled achievement.


Thomas C. Graham
At the ripe young age of 47and fresh out of an advanced management program at Harvard University Thomas C. Graham was named president of Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. (J&L) in 1974. When Graham took the reins at J&L, the company was a mediocre, mid-range performer. Ten years later, the difference was dramatic and his imprint unmistakable: a merger with Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. went smoothly, the installation of two continuous casters at the Indiana Harbor plant had introduced the companys flat-rolled carbon steel business to the efficiency inherent in the revolutionary new technology, and the acquisition of Crucible Steel Co.s Midland plant breathed new life into J&Ls stainless business.

Graham departed a newly invigorated J&L in 1983 to restructure the troubled steel business at U.S. Steel Corp. at the invitation of then chairman and chief executive officer David Roderick. On Grahams arrival at U.S. Steel, finished products were being shipped at a rate of 8.0 man-hours per ton. At his retirement in 1991, that measure had been sliced to 4.0 man-hours per ton and U.S. Steel had become a profitable steel company.

In 1992, he took the battered helm of Armco Steel Co. When Graham landed at Armco Steel, the company was losing $50 per ton on shipments in contrast to industry average operating earnings of $20 per ton. Graham retired from AK Steel, a new public company forged under his watch, in 1997.

Graham, a founding member of consulting firm TC Graham Associates, has lost none of his appetiteor flairfor troubleshooting ailing mills, not a few of which the smiling barracuda hints he would love to sink his teeth into today.


Father William T. Hogan
Father William T. Hogan was a pack rat. He started collecting materials on the global iron and steel industry as a young Jesuit priest, and by the time he died some 50 years later he had amassed an unparalleled collection of materials. He left the collection to Fordham University in New York City, where he spent half a century teaching. The index alone to the more than 130 boxes of materialsknown as the Hogan Steel Archivesconsists of a single-spaced 196-page document.

The Steel Priest was perhaps the best-known iron and steel economist of his time, and his books are still widely read by industry executives and scholars. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees in economics at Fordham, and he was ordained as a Jesuit priest in the 1940s. After several years of religious formation, Hogan rejoined Fordhams economics department in 1956. He founded Fordhams Industrial Economics Research Institute and used it as a platform to develop a research and teaching program in industrial economics.

Hogan retired from teaching in 2001. He died the following year at the age of 82, having never lost the common touch.


Irving Rossi
Irving Rossi worked as an investment banker and an engineer, but hes best remembered for bringing continuous casting to the American steel industry. His efforts, which built on the work done by John B. Tytus at American Rolling Mill Co. (later known as Armco) in the 1920s to perfect automatic rolling mills, made the nations steel industry among the worlds most productive.

In the mid-1950s, Rossi and his partner, Heinrich Tanner, co-founded Concast AG in Zurich, Switzerland, and Concast Inc. in the United States to develop continuous casting in the steel industry. Concast captured as much as 60 percent of the worlds continuous casting business during the 1970s and 1980s. The company built the first caster installed at Ken Iversons flagship Nucor Corp. mill in Darlington, S.C., as well as at Willy Korfs Georgetown Steel in Georgetown, S.C.

Irving Rossi, who was 72 years old when he sold Concast, found it impossible to retire. In 1972, he started Irving Rossi & Co., an investment banking firm that Rossi ran until he was in his mid-80s. In 1990, Rossi was recognized by the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, a predecessor to the Association of Iron and Steel Technology, which honored him with the first Tadeusz Sendzimir Memorial Medal for Excellence in Steel. He died of heart failure at his home in Harding Township, N.J., in 1991 at the age of 101.


John Butler Tytus
John Butler Tytus earned his place in the AMM Steel Hall of Fame for his invention of the first workable wide-strip continuous rolling process for making steel. Tytus was a rising executive at American Rolling Mill Co.later known as Armco, the forerunner of AK Steel Corp.when his introduction of the wide-strip continuous rolling mill at the companys new works at Ashland, Ky., in 1924 revolutionized the manufacturing of steel and gave the industry the ability to serve the fast-growing automobile assembly sector with flat-rolled sheet.

Tytus grew up in the pulp and paper industry. He was particularly fascinated with the Fourdrinier paper machine, which was the heart of his familys mill. Tytus always remembered how the Fourdrinier machines made paper rolls and he vowed that the job of rolling sheet steel would be automated.

American Rolling Mill showed its appreciation to the English major from Yale by naming Tytus vice president in 1927, and the American Iron and Steel Institute awarded the inventor of the continuous rolling mill the Gary Memorial Award for his landmark contribution to the iron and steel industry.

Tytus died of a heart attack on June 2, 1944, at the age of 68.


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