PERSONNEL: Change at General Dynamics

John Jay Hopkins, a handsome, debonair son of a Presbyterian minister, provided the push and brilliance that built General Dynamics Corp. (1956 sales: $1 billion) into one of the postwar era's biggest industrial combines. A lawyer, California-born John Hopkins joined Electric Boat, predecessor of General Dynamics, as a director in 1937, engineered the acquisition of Canadair Ltd., a Canadian aircraft manufacturing company, and then took over major corporations—manufacturing everything from telephone equipment to airplanes—until he had made the new complex the seventh largest defense contractor to the U.S. Government.

General Dynamics built...

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