Murray Harpole, Co-Founder, Retired Chairman and CEO of Pentair, Dies at 89
Murray J. Harpole, retired chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of Pentair, Inc., died suddenly on Monday, May 16. He was 89.
Harpole, one of Pentair s five founding partners, started the company in 1966 to manufacture research balloons. Harpole was named Pentair s first Chairman and CEO that year and remained in this position for 15 years and served another 5 years as Chairman, ultimately retiring from the board in 1991. By that time, the company was a diversified manufacturer with annual sales of $1.2 billion and over 8,000 employees. Harpole was integral to building the foundation of Pentair s current global presence.
Commented Randall J. Hogan, Pentair s current chairman and chief executive officer: "Murray built Pentair from the ground up. Among his many significant contributions, his passion for conducting business with the highest ethical standards remains a cornerstone value at Pentair. Although times have changed since Murray first wrote our company s code of ethics, the business principles he put in place have not. He leaves a lasting legacy at our company; the legacy that we live by in Winning Right. "
In 1992, Harpole wrote Living the American Dream: Pentair, Inc - The First 25 Years, a book detailing Pentair s humble beginnings, key milestones, and ultimate success.
In addition to his contributions to Pentair, Harpole was a long term supporter of higher education. He accepted various leadership positions at Iowa State University (ISU), his alma mater, and the University of St. Thomas. In 2000, Harpole and his wife, Ruth M. Harpole, created the Harpole Professorship in Electrical Engineering at ISU. The endowment supports professors who provide leadership in developing electrical and computer engineering academic courses and research programs.
Harpole was also a strong advocate of the Greater St. Paul YMCA and the YMCA Camp du Nord. He was a member of Rotary International and Centennial United Methodist Church of Roseville, and was active on the boards of several corporations.
Source: Pentair plc.