John Brown Cook had a distinguished 49-year career in the telephone industry, highlighted by his contributions as chairman of the USITA Manufacturers and Suppliers Committee.
He joined Reliable Electric Company in Chicago following his graduation from Dartmouth College in 1929. He served in various executive capacities at Reliable, and was instrumental in engineering and developing several new products. He developed many patentable inventions, primarily in the field of wire and cable, as well as terminations and connections. Cook was elected president of Reliable Electric in 1942. In 1947, he became president of Whitney Blake Company, and in 1958 he became chairman of both companies.
Cook served a quarter of a century as chairman of the Manufacturers and Suppliers Committee and helped conceive the original trade show program, known as the Showcases until 1988 when these regional programs were combined into one annual SUPERCOMM conference and exposition. He also led in the development of the technical seminars held in conjunction with the shows.
His work helped shape the relationship which exists today between the Independent telephone operating companies and their suppliers and he laid a foundation for today’s Telecommunications Suppliers Association. He was a recipient of the USITA Pacesetter Award in 1974. He died in 1978.