Tom Hopper grew up in the great depression and started as a factory worker in Corning New York. A WWII artillery soldier in Germany his administrative capability started with managing a processing center to return veterans back to the US when the war ended. Following that he did a stint as a Stars and Stripes distribution manager for the Benelux countries.
After WWII he joined Corning's management team in industrial planning. His first major project was heading a planning team in developing the first color TV tubes. Following successful completion of that project he was assigned the role of Corning’s first IT specialist. He established the first corporate communications network using state-of-the-art teletype equipment linking plants to the corporate data center, a precursor to the sophisticated networks of today.
In 1958 Tom installed Corning's first IBM computer, called the RAMAC. He then became an IT manager with a staff of analysts and programmers. Through the 1960s Tom was the corporate interface to share, IBM user group and was active with both IBM and AT&T in developing Corning's strong position in information technology. It was a fascinating experience dealing with many of the early pioneers in Information Technology.
In 1970 Corning was having problems in support of its export business and Tom joined the International Group. He worked with the US Department of Commerce and various International groups in developing standardized documents to expedite the export process. He was a speaker at the World Trade Center in that capacity. He designed and implemented standardized documentation reducing the time to get shipments out of the US. His final project before retiring was establishing a World Wide network linking Corning with its sales offices around the world, again a precursor to the internet tracking systems of today. For this project he earned the top corporate Baldridge award.
Tom was a student of government throughout his career, and after retiring served two terms as a County Legislator in New York State. His exposure to politics and a long term concern with governmental decline led him to do the analytical work leading up to his book. He feels that the United States government is the best in the world today, there is no other with the breadth, scope, and hegemony of our great nation. He points out systemic problems which must be addressed if we are to turn the country around. There is great danger if not done: radical forces or citizen malaise could destroy 225 years of effort.