Francis G. "Buck" Rodgers died July 1, 2014. The son of Harry and Hazel Rodgers, Buck was born August 18, 1926 in Alliance, Ohio. Buck was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Helen Rodgers and daughter-in-law, Linda Rodgers. He is survived by children Christy Ann Rodgers, Scott Rodgers, and Kathy Heckert and her husband Alex; seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild; his twin brother, William Rodgers, three nephews, one niece.
Buck graduated Alliance High School in 1944, was class officer his four years, football quarterback, basketball player. He enlisted in the Air Force and declined an offer to play baseball with the St. Louis Browns. Buck graduated Miami University and joined IBM as a sales trainee in Cleveland, Ohio. Buck was in the forefront of the evolution of the computer as Computer Representative, Branch Manager, Finance Industry Director, Western Region Division leader, and President of the Data Processing Division. For 10 years, he was IBM's Vice President of Marketing, responsible for worldwide marketing activities,. He was a well-regarded speaker at 100% Clubs and Golden Circles with his signature dapper attire and effortless, inspirational style. Buck retired from IBM in 1984.
Renowned within the business world as a motivator, articulator of ideas, and practitioner of excellence, USA Today cited him as one of America's five most requested speakers.
Rodgers' wrote two books, The IBM Way, and Getting The Best Out Of Yourself and Others. He is in The Ten Greatest Salespersons, The Perfect Sales Presentation, and In Search of Excellence.
Buck was on seven corporate boards. He was a SMEI''s Marketing Statesman of the Year and received its Lifetime Achievement Award. Ohio State University honored Buck as the first recipient of the Arthur Cullman Award for enhancing the relationship between business and academia. A Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and Purdue Old Masters Program participant, Buck received honorary degrees from Miami University, Hartwick College, Mt. Union University and St. Thomas Aquinas College. He received the keys to both the city of his birth, Alliance, Ohio and Fairfield, Ohio, the home of Mercantile Stores.
An accomplished golfer, Buck won 7 club championships at four different clubs, made numerous hole-in-ones, and shot his age for at least a decade. He was a member of Wee Burn Country Club in Darien and both Windsor and Johns Island Club in Vero Beach, Florida. He excelled in tennis and was a dedicated runner.
Buck inspired many individuals in business and throughout his personal life. That legacy will continue through the Buck Rodgers Leadership Program at Miami University's Farmer School of Business.
On July 17th at 11 a.m., a mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Johns Church, followed by burial at Spring Grove Cemetery in Darien, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Buck Rodgers Leadership Program, Farmer School of Business, Miami University, Attn: Kirk Bogard, 800 High Street, Oxford, OH 45056
"Leadership is the ability of a single individual, through his or her actions, to motivate others to higher levels of achievement.
Published on NYTimes.com from July 7 to July 8, 2014