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Memorial Tributes: Volume 7
MONROE EDWARD SPAGHT
WRITTEN BY JOHN F. BOOKOUT SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
MONROE EDWARD SPAGHT, a research chemist and former president and chairman of Shell Oil Company, died June 27, 1993, at the age of eighty-three.
Born near Eureka, California, December 9, 1909, Monty Spaght worked his way through college playing trombone in a jazz band, graduating with a major in chemistry from Stanford University where he also earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. A fellowship from the Institute of International Education (IIE) enabled him to study physics for a year at the University of Leipzig in Germany. He remained a lifelong supporter of the IIE and a vocal proponent of quality education.
Dr. Spaght joined Shell in 1933 as a researcher. He was responsible for many contributions to scientific books and journals, and was credited with a number of important patents involving the recovery of chemical by-products from refining; by 1940 he was a manager of the company's technical activities on the West Coast. During the Second World War he served on a naval technical mission to Europe, moving into Germany with the Allied forces to study technical developments in German industry. Soon afterward he spent seven months in Japan as a director of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey analyzing the effects of bombing on Japanese industry.
Upon his return from these duties, Spaght resumed his progress up Shell's corporate ladder, first as vice-president and