James R. Houghton
James Richardson Houghton

(1936-04-06) April 6, 1936 (age 87)
DiedDecember 20, 2022(2022-12-20) (aged 86)
Boston, Massachusetts
Alma materHarvard University
Employer(s)Goldman Sachs
Corning Incorporated
May Tuckerman Kinnicutt
(after 1962)
ChildrenJames DeKay Houghton
Nina Bayard Houghton
Parent(s)Amory Houghton
Laura DeKay Richardson
RelativesAmo Houghton (brother)
Alanson Houghton (grandfather)

James Richardson Houghton (April 6, 1936 -- December 20, 2022) was the chairman of the board of Corning Incorporated.

Early life

Houghton was born in 1936. He is the third son of Amory Houghton, former U.S. Ambassador to France,[1] and his wife, the former Laura DeKay Richardson. Among his siblings was older brother Amo Houghton, who served as a U.S. Representative from New York.[2]

Houghton earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from Harvard University (A.B., 1958, MBA, 1962).[3]


From 1959 to 1961, Houghton worked at Goldman, Sachs and Company in New York before joining Corning in 1962. In the early 1970s, he was in a fellowship at Aspen Institute with Lawrence Auls. The company was founded in 1851 by his great-great-grandfather Amory Houghton. After holding a variety of management positions, including 12 years as vice chairman, Houghton was elected chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Corning in 1983.[4] After retiring in 1996,[5] he was chairman emeritus from 1996 to 2001; and then served as non-executive chairman of the board in 2001–2002. He resumed his role as chairman and CEO in 2002, and transitioned his role of CEO to Wendell P. Weeks in April 2005. In April 2007, he also transitioned his chairman role to Weeks.[6]

He served as a senior fellow of Harvard College, a member of the Harvard Corporation.[7]

Corporate board service

Houghton served on a number of corporate boards including: Corning Incorporated, ExxonMobil Corporation, MetLife, Inc., Corning Museum of Glass, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pierpont Morgan Library, and the Harvard Corporation.

Personal life

On June 30, 1962, Houghton was married to May Tuckerman Kinnicutt at Christ Protestant Episcopal Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[3] May, a graduate of St. Timothy's School and Radcliffe College, was the daughter of Sybil (née Jay) Kinnicut and Francis Parker Kinnicutt,[8] a niece of decorator Sister Parish,[9][10] and a direct descendant of both Chief Justice John Jay and John Jacob Astor.[8] Together, they are the parents of:[11]

His wife is an author, who published a novel, under the name Maisie Houghton, entitled Pitch Uncertain: A Mid-Century Middle Daughter Finds Her Voice in 2011.[15]

Houghton passed away on December 20, 2022. [16][17]

See also


  1. ^ Clark, Alfred E. (February 22, 1981). "AMORY HOUGHTON OF CORNING GLASS WORKS". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths HOUGHTON, LAURA RICHARDSON". The New York Times. 12 April 2003. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b "James R. Houghton Is Fiance Of May Tuckerman Kinnicutt" (PDF). The New York Times. March 9, 1962. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  4. ^ Cuff, Daniel F. (April 13, 1983). "BUSINESS PEOPLE; TOP OFFICERS SHIFT AT CORNING GLASS". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  5. ^ Holusha, John (February 9, 1996). "Corning Chief Plans to Retire In the Spring". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  6. ^ Bloomberg News (January 28, 2005). "COMPANY NEWS; CORNING APPOINTS ITS CHAIRMAN AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  7. ^ Zhou, Kevin. "James R. Houghton". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "May Tuckerman Kinnicutt Is Bride Married to James R. Houghton, Son of Former Envoy" (PDF). The New York Times. July 1, 1962. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Sister Parish, Grande Dame of American Interior Decorating, Is Dead at 84". The New York Times. September 10, 1994. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  10. ^ Bartlett, Apple Parish; Crater, Susan Bartlett; Hadley, Albert (2000). Sister: The Life of Legendary Interior Decorator Mrs. Henry Parish II. Macmillan. p. 12. ISBN 9780312242404. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  11. ^ Houghton, Maisie (2011). Pitch Uncertain: A Mid-century Middle Daughter Finds Her Voice. TidePool Press, LLC. ISBN 9780975555767. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  12. ^ Milburn, Robert (August 2, 2014). "A Family-Office Co-Op". Barron's. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  13. ^ "WEDDINGS; James Houghton, Constance B. Coburn". The New York Times. December 11, 1994. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Kent George Jr. and Nina Houghton". The New York Times. September 29, 1996. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  15. ^ Kaiser, Walter (24 March 2011). "Inside the Fortress". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  16. ^ "JAMES HOUGHTON Obituary (1936 - 2022) - Boston, MA - Boston Globe". Legacy.com.
  17. ^ "Remembering Corning Inc.'s James Houghton: 'There was always a Houghton at the helm'".