Edwin J. Umphrey

Inducted 1974

Served as a Director of General Motors of Canada from 1958 through 1963.

Consistently established and maintained sales records for GM of Canada.

Edwin Umphrey proved that nice guys can finish first. Loyal to his country and his company, Umphrey started his career in 1920 at Chevrolet’s Winnipeg office. Over the next 43 years, Umphrey turned down many generous offers to leave GM or Canada, or both. Building on a personal foundation of strong morals and ethics, he rose through the ranks from salesman to Director. Known as a naturally talented orator, Umphrey could inspire virtually any audience. As Director of Sales in 1945, he started from scratch with no product to sell after World War II. When he retired in 1962, Umphrey left GM of Canada with a record 53.6 percent market share, based on sales of 228,894 cars in that year. Throughout his career, Umphrey campaigned for high selling standards. He advised GM dealers to avoid misleading and deceptive advertising, stressing the need for honesty and trust. In a 1958 New Year’s message, Umphrey resolved: In every circumstance and in every relationship let us always be fair, be kind, be considerate and gracious.

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Class of 1974

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