Raymond Mulford was born in San Francisco around 1909-1910.("Raymon H. Mulford," Toledo Blade, 9 February 1973.) He graduated from Stanford University in 1931 and the Harvard School of Business two years later. In 1933 he went to work for Owens Illinois (O-I) at a plant in Clarion, California, and quickly rose through the corporate executive ranks. By 1937 he managed O-I glass container plants in Los Angeles and Oakland. He moved to Toledo in 1939 when he was promoted to the vice-president in charge of personnel administration. The next promotion for Mulford came when he was made the general manager of an O-I subsidiary, the Kimble Glass Company in 1953. Three years later he was appointed president of Kimble Glass.
In 1960, Owens-Illinois named him president of their glass container division and a corporate vice-president. Raymon Mulford served as president of Owens-Illinois from 1961 to 1968. His leadership helped to make it the 77th largest company in the U.S. by 1972.("Mulford Rose Quickly After Joining O-I in '33," Toledo Blade, 9 February 1973). Mulford oversaw one of O-I's largest eras of growth. In 1961 sales were $596 million, but seven years later, when Mulford retired, they had reached nearly one billion dollars a year.
Raymon Mulford discussed and promoted Owens-Illinois glass products worldwide. In 1969 he was the first American glass executive to be invited to speak to the Congress of European Glass Federations in London. Two years later he joined ninety other executives from large international corporations and visited Moscow and Leningrad.
In addition to his position at Owens-Illinois, Raymon Mulford served as a director of the New York Stock Exchange, Marathon Oil Company, Allis Chalmers Corporation, and the Ohio Citizens Trust Company. He sat as president of the advisory board for St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo.
Mulford demonstrated a high degree of civic leadership, both locally and nationally. In 1968 he organized the Toledo Chapter of the National Alliance of Businessmen with the goal of finding work for the chronically unemployed. He personally went and listened to inner city youths who complained that their color kept them from finding employment with Toledo businesses. He asked them what the Alliance could do to help them find work. Raymon Mulford also served on the city's Board of Community Relations. Nationally, he was vice-president of the National Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation. He also became a trustee on the executive committee of President Nixon's National Center for Voluntary Action.
Mulford received many honors, including honorary doctor of law degrees from The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University. The Toledo Management Association awarded him their highest honor, the Silver Knight Award.Ibid. The day he died he was scheduled to receive the Governor's Award at the Ohio Newspaper Association's awards dinner.
Mulford was a member and at one time president of the Toledo Chamber of Commerce."Raymond H. Mulford." He served as a Toledo Museum of Art Trustee, a member of the National Association of Colored People, the Rotary Club and the Belmont Country Club. Raymon H. Mulford and his wife, Jane, were the parents of two daughters. He died on February 9, 1973.(Ibid).
Raymond Mulford's grave
(Photography of Woodlawn Cemetery by Josef Schneider.)