Deramus graduated from the University of Michigan in 1936 and received his law degree from Harvard University in 1939, and upon graduation entered the railroading industry with the Wabash Railway as a minor executive. During World War II he used his railroading background and skills to help run the Ledo Road, and upon his return, found work as an executive with the Kansas City Southern, which at the time was run by his father, William N. Deramus, Jr.
He was the youngest person ever to be elected to the presidency of a Class I railroad in 1949 when he took the helm of the Chicago Great Western. In that year he also served on the Board of Directors for the second and final year of the Chicago Railroad Fair. His tenure at the CGW was marked by increased modernization of the physical plant of the railroad and cost cutting. He left the CGW for a three-year stint as president of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas in 1957, where he also reduced operating and maintenance costs. He simplified the locomotive paint schemes and introduced a less expensive paint referred to as Deramus red. He then took over for his father as president of the KCS.
President of Chicago Great Western Railway: 1949 – 1957
President of Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad: 1957 – 1961
President of Kansas City Southern Railway: 1961 – 1973
William Neal Deramus III Overview
Born: December 10, 1915 at Pittsburg, Kansas
Died: November 15, 1989 (aged 73) at Kansas City, Missouri
Alma mater: University of Michigan
A William N. Deramus III tribute from 2002.
William N. Deramus III. Fred W. Frailey photo.
17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use.
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Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.