James McSwiney: A True Visionary

Posted on 06-23-2016 by
Tags: Industry Insights & Trends

It is our honor to recognize the life and work of Mr. James McSwiney, former CEO of the Mead Corporation who was at the helm of the online legal research company that later became LexisNexis after it was purchased in 1968. James passed on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at the age of 100.

[Mr. McSwiney’s obituary.]

A member of “The Greatest Generation,” and a veteran of World War II, James epitomized the “American Dream.” He began his career at the Mead Corporation in 1945, rising through the ranks to become CEO of the company in less than fifteen years and setting the foundation for where LexisNexis is today.

James was a visionary who expanded the Mead Corporation from a traditional paper business into a digitally-focused company of the future. Under James' leadership, Mead acquired and grew our organization, transforming it into one of the earliest information businesses and a leader in today’s information industry.

In hearing of Mr. James' passing,  LexisNexis employees recalled some of their favorite memories of him.

"Jim spent several hours onsite with a couple of us sharing the story of how a paper company got involved with a technology company. There were a number of statements that really stood out…he said he always hired people smarter than him…he never wanted anyone on his team that thought like him.  He also shared that business was built on integrity and decisions based on long term impact. His vision and action benefits not only Mead and its companies, but the community."

~ Stephanie Singer, VP, Global Data Center Services

“In the early 1980s, I was given the unenviable assignment of installing a UBIQ in Mr. McSwiney’s office. For a 23-year old who was fresh out of college, I remember thinking his office was amazing. And he was gracious in greeting me and thanking me for a job well done.”

~ Carm Call, Customer Systems Engineer

“I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. McSwiney… He  shook my hand right away and wished me all the best in my career and assured me that I was in a good place that was working for the future. I always remembered his kind words and how comfortable he made a scared 18-your old feel in my first major job. And, all of these years later he was so right.”

~ James Hook, Customer Development & Sales Operations

James McSwiney’s legacy continues to live on through the employees at LexisNexis Legal & Professional. We wish the McSwiney family our warmest thoughts and honor James Wilmer McSwiney for his leadership and vision.

Photo courtesy of Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home

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