U. S. Steel President Paul Wilhelm Dead at 59
Paul J. Wilhelm, vice chairman of USX Corporation and president of U. S. Steel Group (NYSE: X), died today of complications from cancer. He was 59.
Wilhelm is survived by his widow, the former Carol A. Diehl; two sons, Thomas and Jay; and his mother, Mrs. Dorothy Wilhelm, all of Pittsburgh.
Wilhelm served as president of U. S. Steel since 1994 and as a member of the board of directors of USX since 1995. He was elected vice chairman of the board last year.
"Paul Wilhelm was a people-oriented and visionary leader of U. S. Steel," said USX Chairman Thomas J. Usher. "He was a man full of life. We will miss him more than we can say.
"He led U. S. Steel into a period of growth and expansion at home and internationally.
"He was an executive who began his career as a turn foreman after graduation from Carnegie Tech and rose through the ranks to the top of the company. His leadership was marked by a genuine concern and affection for his people. He was convinced, as he used to say, that U. S. Steel `had the right people at the right time' to achieve great success.
"As president of U. S. Steel, he held various industry leadership positions and became an articulate and passionate spokesman for the cause of the American steel industry and its people. He fought the good fight in the ongoing battle over steel imports and their impact on our industry."
Mr. Wilhelm, a native of Pittsburgh, was a graduate of South Hills Catholic High School. He was graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He began his career with U. S. Steel that summer at the former National Plant in McKeesport. His first management post was as an operating foreman in the plant's tubular mills. He advanced through several promotions, to become assistant superintendent of the seamless pipe mill in 1975. In 1980, he was transferred to the company's Texas Works near Houston as superintendent of the 48-inch pipe mill.
The following year, he was transferred to the Fairfield Works near Birmingham, Ala., to head the two-year construction of a $750 million seamless pipe mill there. He served as manager of the new mill until 1986, when he became general manager of the Fairfield Works.
Wilhelm returned to Pittsburgh as general manager-tubular products in 1987. He became vice president-technology and management services for the U. S. Steel Group in 1992. A year later, he was named president of USS/Kobe Steel Company, the partnership between USX and Kobe Steel, Ltd., at the Lorain Works in Ohio.
In 1994, he became vice president-operations for U. S. Steel. He was elected president later that year.
Wilhelm served as chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute in 1998-99. He was a member of the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers (AISE).
He was chairman of the board of the Greater Pittsburgh Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was to have received the Boy Scouts' Silver Beaver Award, the highest honor the organization bestows upon volunteer leaders. The Boy Scouts will confer the award posthumously this June.
Wilhelm was chairman of the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Mellon University. He also was a member of the board of directors of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance and a former president of the Duquesne Club.
He served on the board of Union Carbide Corporation, the board of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Council and the board of visitors of the University of Pittsburgh's Katz School of Business and College of Business Administration.
In addition to his immediate family, Wilhelm is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Cindy Gaber of Pittsburgh and Mrs. Dorothy Hamill of Walkerville, Md.; and a brother, Robert E. Wilhelm of Dallas, Texas.
Funeral arrangements at the Glenn-Kildo Funeral Home in Cranberry Township are incomplete.
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