Jerry Junkins, Texas TravelerGary Mcwilliams
Jerry Junkins died with his boots on. Junkins, 58, the small town Iowa boy who rose to become CEO of the Lone Star State's Texas Instruments, one of the world's top chipmakers, died May 29 of a heart attack while en route to a business meeting in Germany. Junkins joined TI in 1959 as an electrical engineer and moved rapidly through manufacturing and management positions. He took over the reins while TI was struggling in 1985 and revitalized the memory-chip business that today delivers the bulk of TI's profits.
As TI's financial turnaround took hold, Junkins became a well-traveled advocate of global trade. He was one of Big Business' leading advocates for the North American Free Trade Agreement and later lobbied to win business and congressional support for the General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade, which helped set new rules for global financial markets. In 1993, he created an office of the chief executive, naming executives William Mitchell and Pat Weber as vice-chairmen. For now, the two will run day-to-day operations.