From Louisiana Farm Boy, Navy Vet, Reporter and Business School Dean to Presidential Advisor, Founder of APQC and Co-Founder of The Houstonian, Jack Grayson Has a Story to Tell, America Should Listen

Biography Book about Productivity & Quality Guru and Creator of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Releases in Conjunction with 91st Birthday

(Houston, Texas - October 8, 2014) - APQC (the American Productivity & Quality Center) will release founder Jack Grayson’s biography, FREEDOM to Dream, COURAGE to Act: The First Nine Decades of C. Jackson Grayson, written by John DeMers and Paige Dawson, at his 91st birthday party on October 8.

Jack Grayson has been a tireless advocate of quality and process improvement for over half a century and introduced the world to the concepts of best practices and benchmarking. His vision and leadership have directly impacted thousands of organizations globally as:

  • founder and executive chairman of APQC (the American Productivity & Quality Center), a nonprofit best practices, benchmarking and knowledge management firm;
  • co-founder of The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, an award-winning oasis in Houston, Texas;
  • creator of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an honor given annually by the President of the United States to recognize performance excellence;
  • a member of President Nixon’s cabinet as the Chairman of the US Price Commission, where he successfully cut the US inflation rate from five to two percent during his tenure, and as a member of Presidential Commissions for three other US Presidents;
  • a transformative dean of business schools at Tulane and Southern Methodist University, where he introduced empowerment techniques and international business study; and
  • most recently in his 80s and 90s—still going into the office daily at 91, a successful crusader for process and operational excellence in K-12 education where he is introducing the concepts of process and performance management.

Going far beyond the boundaries of his business resume, however, Grayson formed his point-of-view through experiences as a farmer in Fort Necessity, Louisiana, a newspaper reporter, an FBI agent and a private pilot as well as a husband and father. He served the US Navy as a gunnery officer in the South Pacific during WWII, lived in Paris as a writer and lost his heart to a geisha. Throughout his colorful endeavors, Grayson’s ninety-plus years are most notable for their reflection of his philosophy of freedom.

A 1990 Business Week article said of Grayson, “Few, if any, individual Americans have done more during the past 20 years to shape the country’s economic future for the better.” He was named to the 10 Most Admired Knowledge Leaders by Teleos and received a Distinguished Service Medal from the American Society for Quality (ASQ). He holds a BS from Tulane University, an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in business from Harvard Business School.

Advance Praise for Jack Grayson & Freedom to Dream

“Jack has been instrumental in creating the world’s benchmark on benchmarking. With relentless energy and his ever growing global network he did not build an organization, but a true institution.” Peter J. Korsten, Global Leader Thought Leadership and Eminence, IBM Global Business Services

“Never content with the status quo, this academic gypsy, entrepreneur, author, public servant and patriot has pushed the boundaries of creative thought and action at every stage of his professional career. Every organization with which he has worked and the people within those organizations are better for his having passed their way.” Bobby B. Lyle founder, Lyco Holdings Incorporated

“Many lives may entertain and some lives teach. Some make headlines while others move mountains through constant persistence. You hold in your hands an entertaining life—Jack Grayson’s—of headlines and study, reflection and action, experimentation and dogged application that laid a foundation for the principles of quality leadership. It is worthy of your time and thoughtful study.” Dr. Brent James, Chief Quality Officer, Intermountain Healthcare and Institute for Health Care Delivery Research

“Mischievous and fearless, smart, tireless and driven, Jack is a force of nature out to transform the way we work, learn and even play. While it’s hard to believe that one man could achieve so much and make such an impact on how we think, manage and invent the future, Jack will inspire you to do the same.” Carla O’Dell, CEO, APQC

About the Authors

Veteran Texas-based journalist John DeMers is the author of 50 published books, on subjects from Texas culture, history, food and drink to a popular series of crime novels set in far West Texas. He lives in Houston, Austin and Marfa. Marketing and public relations exec Paige Dawson Rodriguez is president of MPD Ventures Company, a full-service marketing and communications firm, and has worked with Jack Grayson and APQC for more than a decade. She lives in Dallas.

Publisher: Bright Sky Press                                                                
Pub Date: October 8, 2014                                                                                                                                                 
Format: Hardcover 239 pp., black and white photos              
ISBN: 978-1-939055-84-2

Contact:  Leslie Little, 325-370-1465,
                   Paige Dawson 214-744-6188, 

About APQC

APQC is a member-based nonprofit and one of the leading proponents of benchmarking and best practice business research. Working with more than 500 organizations worldwide in all industries, APQC focuses on providing organizations with the information they need to work smarter, faster, and with confidence. Every day we uncover the processes and practices that push organizations from good to great. Visit us at or @APQC and Make Best Practices Your Practices.

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