George Kozmetsky

October 5, 1917 – April 30, 2003

Brief Biography

George Kozmetsky

George Kozmetsky was born in Seattle, Washington to Belarusian immigrants. As a teenager, Kozmetsky helped support his family by unloading fishing boats at the city docks. He did not venture far for undergraduate education and enrolled at the University of Washington. In college, Kozmetsky was a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps student. After failing his post-graduation physical exam, however, he received no commission and instead enlisted in the Army as a private when the US entered World War II.

It did not take long for Kozmetsky to move up into the officer ranks. He served abroad as a medical corpse officer and earned a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. When Kozmetsky returned from the European front, he and his wife concluded that it would be best if he pursue a graduate education at Harvard Business School. He earned his MBA and a Doctor of Commercial Science, spending the summers teaching members of the United Steel Workers of America and other unions how to understand contracts and financial reports. When the Graduate School of Industrial Administration at Carnegie Institute of Technology offered him a teaching position in 1950, Kozmetsky accepted.

 Kozmetsky did not remain at Carnegie long before accepting an assistant controllership position at Hughes Aircraft. At the Hughes Advanced Electronics Laboratory, he learned to program and build computers. Kozmetsky went onto to Litton Industries on the suggestion of Roy Ash (a former classmate and colleague at Hughes).  There Kozmetsky headed a division that was tasked with the development of a large, airborne computing system for the US Navy. In 1960, he left the company to found his own firm, Teledyne Inc., with Henry Singleton. Kozmetsky remained with Teledyne for six years.

Seeking a return to teaching, Kozmetsky accepted an position as Dean of the University of Texas at Austin’s Business College. At UT, he played a monumental role in shaping Austin into the technological center it is today. Kozmetsky set about creating a world-class OR/MS faculty. He brought on such respected professors as Abraham Charnes and William W. Cooper, both whom he had worked with at Carnegie. He also hired leading industrial professionals. Kozmetsky encouraged the entire business faculty to work closely with other fields and altered the graduate curriculum, giving students a wider and more hands-on education.

In 1982, Kozmetsky resigned his position to devote himself to the University’s Institute for Constructive Capitalism (IC2). Kozmetsky fostered the research of Institute Fellows (the ranks of which included former colleagues like Gerald L. Thompson) in such fields as Data Envelopment Analysis, evolutionary economics, medicine, telecommunications, network methods, and optimization. With IC2, he played a huge role in bringing tech companies to Austin and transforming the city into a modern “technopolis”.

Kozmetsky served as the fifth president of The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS) in 1958. During his time at Hughes, he had used his executive position to finance and host the early meetings that led to the organization’s establishment in 1954. Kozmetsky had served as TIMS’ first secretary-treasurer prior to his presidency.

Kozmetsky believed in the importance of giving back to society and established the RGK Foundation in 1966. He passed away in the spring of 2003. Kozmetsky is remembered as a creative force or rare quality, responsible for the growth and education of business and management science worldwide. 

Other Biographies

Profiles in Operations Research: George Kozmetsky
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Wikipedia Entry for George Kozmetsky

INFORMS. Miser-Harris Presidential Gallery: George Kozmetsky. Accessed February 23, 2015. (link)

The University of Texas at Austin IC2 Institute. Mission and History: George Kozmetsky. Accessed February 23, 2015. (link)

Walters K. D. (2003) George Kozmetzy: American Innovator, A Life at the Intersection of Technology and Ideology. Northwest Science and Technology Magazine, Autumn:45-47.


University of Washington, BA 1938

Harvard University, MBA 1947

Harvard University, DCS 1957


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • U. S. Army
  • Hughes Aircraft
  • Litton Industries 
  • Teledyne, Inc.

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas


Amidon D. M. (2003) George Kozmetsky: In Memoriam. I3 Update, 73. (link)

New York Times (2003) George Kozmetsky, 89, Dean And a Co-Founder of Teledyne. (May 7). (link)

OR/MS Today (2003) In Memoriam: George Kozmetsky. (June 15). (link)

Awards and Honors

National Medal of Technology 1993

Professional Service

The Institute of Management Sciences, President 1958, Secretary-Treasurer 1954

Selected Publications

Guetzkow H., Kozmetsky G., Kyndall G., & Simon H. (1954) Centralization vs. Decentralization in organizing the controller's department. Controllership Foundation: New York. 

Kircher P. & Kozmetsky G. (1956) Electronic Computers and Management Control. McGraw-Hill: New York.

Charnes A., Cooper W. W., & Kozmetsky G. (1974) TIMS in Perspective 1954, 1964, 1874; 1984?. Interfaces, 4(2): 11-20.

Beltramini R. F., Kozmetsky G., & Peterson R. A. (1984) Concerns of college students regarding business ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 3(3): 195-200.

Kozmetsky G. (1985) Transformational Management, Volume 3. Ballinger: Cambridge, MA.

Gibson D., Kozmetsky G., & Smilor R., eds. (1988) Creating the Technopolis: linking technology, commercialization and economic development. Ballinger: Cambridge, MA.

Gibson D., Kozmetsky G., & Smilor R., eda. (1992) Technopolis phenomenon: smart cities, fast systems, global networks. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD.

Kozmetsky G., Phillips F., & Thore S. (1994) DEA of financial statements data: the US computer industry. Journal of Productivity Analysis, 5(3): 229-248.  

Butler J. & Kozmetsky G., eds. (2004) Immigrant and minority entrepreneurship: the continuous rebirth of American communities. Praeger: Westport, CT. 

Additional Resources

Youtube. Dr. George Kozmestky Biography. Published October 14, 2013. Accessed April 10, 2015. (link