BYU Management Society - Orange County Chapter

Dr. Arnold Beckman: Scientist, Inventor, and Philanthropist

July 26, 2018


Upon graduating from High School as WWII was ending, Paul joined the Navy, went to Boot camp in San Diego, and earned a fleet appointment to the Naval Academy—but declined it to pursue his high school sweetheart and an electrical engineering degree at the University of Utah.

After two jobs, one of which was upgrading the nuclear weapon stockpile, he started a lifelong career in research and development under the management of Dr. Arnold Beckman in Fullerton California. In Fullerton, he and his high school sweetheart raised a family of four while serving in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as well as the Boy Scouts of America. Paul retired in 1994 and lives in San Clemente with his sweetheart.

 Paul’s presentation will be centered on Dr. Beckman—his life and his management style. Paul will draw on his personal experiences working for and with this outstanding world famous scientist, inventor, and philanthropist—and founder of Beckman Instruments. Beckman invented the “acid meter” in 1934—later renaming it the pH meter, as we know it today. Beckman worked extensively in spectrophotometry, semiconductors, radar, computers and automation. He played a key role in developing radiation measurement devices required to support the Manhattan Project.

Beckman and his wife were notable philanthropists. They established the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in 1977. At the time of Beckman's death, the Foundation had given more than 400 million dollars to a variety of charities and organizations. Donations chiefly went to scientists and scientific causes as well as Beckman's alma maters. He is quoted as saying, "I accumulated my wealth by selling instruments to I thought it would be appropriate to make contributions to science, and that's been my number one guideline for charity."