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Frank Cary, 85; led IBM through 1970s

Frank Cary, who helped drive the development of the personal computer as head of International Business Machines Corp. in the 1970s, died Jan. 1 at age 85.

Mr. Cary was chief executive officer of IBM from 1973 to 1981, and chairman from 1973 to 1983, according to IBM's website. He most recently was a director at companies including printer maker Lexmark International Inc. and Lincare Holdings Inc., which provides patient therapy in the home.

He was chairman of biopharmaceutical company Celgene Corp. from 1986 to 1990.

Mr. Cary retired at the age of 60, complying with IBM's policy at the time requiring key executives to give up their posts to younger managers. In a 1980 profile, the New York Times described Mr. Cary as a ''a healthy and energetic member" of IBM, whose hobbies included skiing, tennis, and golf.

During Mr. Cary's tenure, IBM introduced a 50-pound ''portable" computer, the Selectric typewriter and a so-called Winchester hard drive, which stored twice the amount of information as previous hard drives. Mr. Cary left the CEO post the same year IBM introduced the first personal computer.

IBM's traditionally staid culture showed signs of loosening under Mr. Cary, according to the New York Times profile. Employees started wearing blue shirts, rather than the standard white, and men donned mustaches and beards.

He also steered the company around its legal troubles with the US Justice Department, which sued the company on antitrust grounds. The government eventually dropped the suit, primarily because IBM faced increasing competition by 1982.

IBM more than doubled its sales and profit during Mr. Cary's time as CEO.

Mr. Cary died in his sleep in his home in Darien, Conn., according to son, Bryan. He leaves his wife, two other sons, a daughter, and 12 grandchildren.

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