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Charles Michel Harper

director , executive

Charles Michel Harper, American food products executive, director. Named Alumnus of Year, University Chicago Graduate School Business, 1991.


Harper, Charles Michel was born on September 26, 1927 in Lansing, Michigan, United States. Son of Charles Frost and Alma (Michel) Harper.


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 1949. Master of Business Administration, University Chicago, 1950. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), University Nebraska, 1986.

Degree (honorary), College St. Mary, 1986. Juris Doctor (honorary), Law College St. Mary, 1986. Doctor of Engineering (honorary), Purdue University, 1989.

Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Kearney State University, 1990. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Bellevue College, 1993. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Creighton University, 1993.


Supervisor methods engineering Oldsmobile division General Motors Corporation, Detroit, 1950—1954. Industrial engineer Pillsbury Company, Minneapolis, 1954—1955, director industrial engineering, 1955—1960, director engineering, 1961—1966, vice president research, development and new products, 1965—1970, group vice president-poultry, food service and venture business, 1970—1974. Executive vice president, chief operating officer, director ConAgra Inc., Omaha, 1974—1976, president, Chief Executive Officer, 1976—1981, chairman board, Chief Executive Officer, director, 1981—1993.

Chairman board, Chief Executive Officer R. J Reynolds Tobacco Company Nabisco Holdings Corporation, New York City, 1993—1995, chairman board, 1995—1996, retired, 1996. Member executive committee National Commission on Agricultural, Trade and Export Policy, 1984—1986. Board directors Burlington Northern Inc., 1985—1991, Norwest Bank Holding Company, 1987—1997, DuPont, 1992—1998, Valmont Industries, Inc., Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc., ConAgra, Inc.

Served United States Army, 1946-1948.


President Mid-American Council Boy Scouts American, 1983—1984. Member council Village of Excelsior, Minnesota, 1965—1970, mayor, 1974. Member of University Nebraska Lincoln College Business Administration Alumni Association (honorary life member), Ak-Sar-Ben (governor), Omaha Chamber of Commerce (chairman 1979), United States C. of Chamber (board directors, chairman food and agricultural committee), Beta Theta Pi.


Married Joan Frances Bruggema, June 24, 1950. Children: Kathleen Harper Wenngatz, Carolyn, Charles Michel, Elizabeth Harper Murphy.

Charles Frost Harper

Alma (Michel) Harper

Joan Frances Bruggema

Kathleen Harper Wenngatz Harper

Carolyn Harper

Charles Michel Harper

Elizabeth Harper Murphy Harper