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Oklahoma inventor George 'Bill' Swisher dies

Family members talk about the life and loss of one of Oklahoma's most innovative inventors, George “Bill” Swisher.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: June 4, 2012

In 1969, Bill Swisher invented the “Autograde,” a technology that changed the world's method of paving roads. He then went on to own and found CMI Corp., a company that became a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of road paving equipment.

Thane Swisher, 55, said his father became interested in technology and machinery at a young age. He said he was operating heavy equipment by the age of 11 and aimed to provide products that would help people.

“There wasn't any type of equipment he couldn't run,” he said.

Family man

In addition to Swisher's success, he was also known as a family man.

Son, Scott Swisher, 47, said he remembers taking numerous trips with his seven siblings. One of the most memorable trips was when they spent two weeks in Hawaii for Christmas, he said.

“He was a great role model,” Scott Swisher said. “He taught the boys in the family hard work.”

Daughter Ann Swisher, 52, said she remembers her father being very sweet and loving to his children.

“He had a wonderful life,” she said. “He just wanted everyone to celebrate the life he had. It was very extraordinary.”

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