Arthur W. Hooper Sr., former executive director of the National Association of Electrical Distributors, died at his home in Essex, Conn., on Nov. 22. He was 94. A native of Saugus, Mass., he moved to New York City in 1939 where he attended Columbia University and earned a degree in journalism in 1942. Following graduation he was commissioned into the U. S. Coast Guard and assigned to the Pacific Theater, where he served as the lieutenant commander of a submarine chaser in the Philippines. After the war he began his long electrical industry career with the McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. he was assigned to Electrical Wholesaling magazine. He rose through the ranks, eventually serving as editor-in chief of the publication. In 1954, Hooper was recruited by NAED to become its executive director, a position he held until his retirement in 1984.
During his 30 years at NAED he led the association and the electrical distribution industry through a tremendous period of growth. Additionally, he was a strong proponent for interdependence among the various components of the electrical industry. He served as secretary of the joint industry program, National Electrical Week, and was a director of the Industry Council on Energy Performance Standards. He was honored by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors for his work as the Founding Chairman of the Distribution Code Council, which developed the bar coding system for the wholesale distribution industry, still in use today. Programs like the PAR Report, The Electrical Distributor magazine, and the establishment of the NAED Education and Research Foundation were all initiated during his tenure. In 1991, the Arthur W. Hooper Achievement Award was established to honor annually an individual who has had an exceptional career in electrical distribution and who contributed in a noteworthy way to the advancement of NAED and the electrical distribution industry.
He is survived by his wife Mary, with whom he shared 71 wonderful years; his sons and daughters-in-laws, Arthur W. Hooper, Jr. and Nancy of Darien, Conn.; James D. Hooper and Ellen of Loveland, Ohio; and Kenneth W. Hooper (president of the National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA), and Dana of North Hampton, N.H.; and nine grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be private. Memorial gifts may be made to the Essex Meadows Scholarship Foundation, 30 Bokum Rd., Essex, Conn., 06426, or the NAED Education and Research Foundation, PO Box 843703 Kansas City, Mo., 64184.