Ex-Head Of WD-40 Dies

Mon, 07/20/2009 - 11:51am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The man who is credited with turning WD-40 into a household name has died at 84.

His widow says John S. Barry died of pulmonary fibrosis on July 3 at a nursing facility in La Jolla (HOYE'-yuh).

Employees of what was then the Rocket Chemical Co. in San Diego were selling their rust-preventer out of car trunks when Barry joined the company in 1969 as president and CEO.

WD-40 was used to coat missiles but it also had a smaller following among consumers who used it to lubricate everything from bicycle chains to fishing reels.

Barry, who held a business degree from MIT, suggested renaming the firm after its product and went on to help build the company's place in the global market.


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