Edwin M. Blakeslee graduated from Stanford University in 1923 with a Master’s Degree in electrical engineering. He worked in the Engineering Department of Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. and then with the California Public Utilities Commission on service investigations, rates and tariffs and property valuations. In 1930, he went to the Commonwealth Telephone Co. in Madison, Wis., and became a vice president in 1936. He was a director of the Wisconsin State Independent Telephone Association for five years and served as president for two years. He became president of the newly established East Central Group of the companies of GTE in 1944 operating in Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky. In 1947, he became president of GTE California and chairman of the board and chief executive officer in 1958.
He served USITA as a director for 15 years, two years as a vice president and then president in 1952-53. He gained wide recognition and distinction in the industry for his work as chairman of the Toll Compensation Committee of USITA, guiding the Independent industry’s negotiations with the Bell System companies on the division of toll revenues.
In the many locations in which he lived and worked, he was very active in civic clubs and activities. He died in 1962.