When Harlow H. ("Red") Curtice moved into the No. 2 spot at General Motors four years ago, he quipped: "You never stand still in this business. You either go up or down." Last week Curtice, who has never gone any way but up, became G.M.'s acting president as Charles Erwin Wilson prepared to become President-elect Eisenhower's Secretary of Defense (see NATIONAL AFFAIRS).

Curtice, now 59 and sure to be Wilson's successor, has been with G.M. all his business life. Born in Eaton Rapids, Mich., he graduated from Ferris Business College at Big Rapids in 1914 and hustled to Flint...

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