Former Chairman of Todd Shipyard Dies

Monday, March 26, 2007
John T. Gilbride, a former chairman and chief executive of the Todd Shipyards Corporation, once the largest independent shipbuilding company in the country, died on March 17 at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 90. The cause was lung disease, his son Frank said, as reported in the New York Times. Gilbride, who started as a pipe fitter’s helper at the Todd shipyard in Brooklyn when he was 14, was president of the company from 1958 to 1975, and its chairman and chief executive until his retirement in 1986.

Founded by William H. Todd in 1916, the company built destroyers, cargo carriers and troop ships during both world wars. In World War II, it had 150,000 workers, most at its yard in Brooklyn. Well into the 1980s, more than 80 percent of the company’s business was with the Navy. It also built and repaired commercial vessels: oil tankers, barges, container ships and ferries. By the time Mr. Gilbride retired, the company had six additional shipyards, in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston and Galveston, Tex. It had revenue of $507 million in 1985. A scarcity of government contracts soon began taking its toll. The company, now called the Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation, has one yard, in Seattle, and had sales of $202 million last year. Source: NY Times

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