John H. Perry, Jr. – January 2, 1917 – May 16, 2006
Mr. John H. Perry, Jr., a native of Seattle moved to Palm Beach at an early age. He graduated from Hotchkiss in 1935, Yale in 1939, and attended the Harvard School of Business Administration. During World War II he served as a pilot in both the Anti-Submarine Service and the Air Transport Command.
Mr. Perry was Chairman, President and principal shareholder of Perry Publications, Inc., which operated 28 newspapers, as well as magazine publishing and printing operations. He is widely recognized for his pioneering introduction of computers for automated newspaper production in the composing room. This was a forerunner to today’s techniques in high-speed newspaper production.
John H. Perry, Jr. was an early predictor of the ending of the “fossil fuel age” and the beginning of the “hydrogen age.” Over 30 years ago, he began devoting time and significant financial resources to the development of renewable energy technologies and a global energy plan. He established research facilities in South Florida and on his private island in The Bahamas, testing photovoltaics, windmills and fuel cells. His companies built the underwater astronaut/scientist training facility off The Bahamas, known as “Hydro-Lab.” The Hydro-Lab was recognized for many underwater “firsts”, including the dry transfer of men from a submarine (also Perry built). He was on President Johnson’s U.S. Commission on Marine Sciences, Engineering and Resources.
His efforts resulted in the creation of a patented system that makes methanol from seawater and he launched the first submarine powered exclusively by a fuel cell power system. His numerous companies, including Perry Oceanographics and The Perry Group, hold the patents on many of the first practical applications of fuel cell technology and were long-standing suppliers of products to branches of the U.S. military and NASA.
Mr. Perry founded Energy Partners in 1990 and served as chairman of the board. Energy Partners, Inc. was a developer and manufacturer of clean, renewable and efficient power systems. In 1991, Energy Partners, Inc. was purchased by Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc. In 1993, Mr. Perry developed a zero emission vehicle, known as “The Green Car:”, a prototype, PEM fuel cell/battery hybrid electric vehicle developed to demonstrate the feasibility of PEM fuel cells for transportation. His Genesis Zero Emission Transporter, was a concept vehicle designed to address a market niche consisting of limited power electric utility and passenger vehicles.
Mr. Perry had a long and distinguished career with a common thread always present; he consistently dedicated his resources and efforts towards activities and projects that have value on a human scale as well as a business scale. He was a man undaunted by things that seem to be impossible. All of these things and more have been the result of the works of John Holliday Perry, Jr., a man whose varied accomplishments have been and will continue to be of huge benefit to mankind, in this country and elsewhere, today — and tomorrow.