Patrick S. Parker (October 16, 1929 – July 6, 2005) Born in Cleveland, the son of Arthur L. and Helen Parker. According to Pat, at a company history presentation given in 1995 at the Euclid Avenue headquarters, his father "Dropped dead of a heart attack" and left the entire business in the hands of his mother. "Many friends of the family advised her to sell but mom kept the business and later hired managers" Arthur L. Parker founded the Parker Pneumatic Truck Brake company in 1918 which later evolved into the Parker Appliance Company. Parker acquired the Hannifin Corporation in the late 1950s and for reasons of brand recognition renamed the business the Parker Hannifin Corporation. Throughout the period between the World War II and his death, Pat helped to build and expand Parker Hannifin to offer a wide array of hydraulic, pneumatic and electromechanical products, which gave Parker the position as a global leader in engineering. Now an $12.54 billion enterprise, the firm had annual sales of $197 million.
Parker went to Williams College where he received his B.A. degree. He later received his M.B.A. degree from the Harvard Business School. He received many honors which include the International Executive of the Year, Certificate of Distinction for Executive Management, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for "Inside Business Magazine" in 2004.
Most of Parker's working career was with the company, starting from when he was a little boy. Parker was one of the first U.S. manufacturing leaders to embrace the concepts of employee empowerment and building a culture of continuous improvement. His legacy of an entrepreneurial spirit, inquisitive mind, ethic of hard work and ability to embrace fun extends beyond the brick and mortar of a modern corporation and is embedded into the company culture to inspire the company's more than 50,000 employees to believe they can make anything possible. In 1960, Parker joined the Board of Directors. He was elected President in 1968 and served as Chief Executive Officer from 1971 through 1983. He was named Chairman in 1977, a position he retired from in 1999. He had previously retired as an employee in 1994.
He died from cancer at the age of 75 in July 2005.