Knudsen, William Signius (nōdˈsən) [key], 1879–1948, American industrialist and U.S. government official, b. Copenhagen, Denmark. He emigrated to the United States at age 20, worked in various factories, and became production manager in the Ford Motor Company during World War I. Employed (1922) by the General Motors Corp., Knudsen became (1937) president. From 1940 to 1945, during World War II, he served successively as director of industrial production for the National Defense Commission, the Office of Production Management, and, as lieutenant general in the U.S. army, for the War Dept.
See biography by N. Beasley (1947).
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