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Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.
William L. McGrath, a native of Cincinnati, sold newspapers for The Post at age 12, and at age 14 was a Western Union messenger. He attended Cincinnati public schools.
McGrath’s connection with The Williamson Heater Co. began in 1920 when he was hired as a salesman, then became sales manager, general manager, executive vice-president, and finally, president.
In World War I, McGrath was connected with the Ordinance Department and the office of the auditor for the War Department in Paris. In World War II, he was a member of two WPB Industry Committees and the Labor-Management Committee of the War Manpower Commission for the Cincinnati area, and acted as a special consultant to WPB.
He was elected a director of the Chamber of Commerce in 1945 and re-elected in 1948. In 1973 he served as second vice-president and as a member of the executive committee.
McGrath was past president of the National Society for the Advancement of Management, as well as past president of the Cincinnati Chapter. He served as director of the American Management Association, New York, and the Provident Savings Bank & Trust Co.
Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization