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John Craig

Industrial executive who promoted an ethos of co-operation and service for world business.

John Sommerville Craig 1913-1995

John S. Craig was born in Motherwell, Scotland as the youngest of five children in a family closely connected with the Scottish iron and steel industry.  He was the first of his family to go to university and studied economics at Cambridge.  He went on to train as a chartered accountant and was for many years company secretary for what became the Colvilles Group, responsible for about 10% of UK steel production in the mid-20th century.

As a student, Craig met the Oxford Group (precursor of IofC) when visiting South Africa in the 1930s.  During the world war in the 1940s he decided the OG and its vision of “letting God change you to change the world” was the surest way of ending war.  While continuing as an industrial executive, he committed himself to work to bring harmony and integrity into industrial relations.

To this end he was a frequent participant in IofC conferences and other campaigns with an industrial theme in many countries.  One observer of his visits to post-war Germany noted, “His honesty and straighforwardness, and the humble way in which he spoke of his own change and vision, helped win the hearts and transform the thinking of men and management in the mines and steelworks of the Ruhr especially.
“It is to men like him that much of the credit must go for the spirit of cooperation which made possible Germany’s recovery in unity, and its pioneering stance on ‘co-determination’ in industry.”

Craig retired as a director of what was by then the nationalised British Steel Corporation.  He continued working with IofC teams in the UK and abroad, including the Philippines and Australia - where he appeared on stage in a touring production of the play, Keir Hardie, the man they could not buy, about the Christian socialist pioneer.

In 1939 John S. Craig married Agnes Marshall.  They had five children, Dron Hore-Ruthven, Anthony Craig, Geoffrey Craig, Paul Craig and Rosemary Ruggles-Brise.

Death year
United Kingdom
Primary country of residence
United Kingdom