Mr. Edward N. Cole was born in Marne, Michigan on September 17, 1909.
His extensive contributions to the field of Ordnance are unique, in that he was intimately involved in both the initial design and mass production of light tanks during both World War II and the Korean Conflict.
After graduating from General Motors Institute in 1933, he accepted a position with the Cadillac Motor Division. In 1939, he was assigned the task of adapting and installing Allison engines in the M-3 light tank. He resolved the problems within 90 days and significantly increased M-3 tank production on the eve of World War II.
In 1943, he became chief design engineer for light tanks and combat vehicles. In 1944, he was made assistant chief engineer of the Cadillac Division. After the outbreak of the Korean Conflict, he held the position of being solely responsible for the production of a new light tank of his own design, the T-41.
The T-41 was hailed, at the time, as the finest tank of its kind in history. Mr. Cole's personal contributions to the Ordnance field are even more impressive when one considers the specialized knowledge required for producing today's weapons systems.
Mr. Cole was president of General Motors from 1968 to 1974. He died in a private plane crash in Kalamazoo, Michigan on May 2, 1977.