Edgar Monsanto Queeny, third president of Monsanto Company and son of the company’s founder, saw first-hand the tragedy that can result from an industrial accident – perhaps more than any other chief executive in the history of American industry. Mr. Queeny was president of Monsanto on April 16, 1947, when the explosion of a French freighter destroyed Monsanto's Texas City plant. The explosion killed 512 people, including 145 Monsanto employees.
Mr. Queeny was appalled by what he saw as he viewed the destruction. A short time later, he wrote a report to employees and shareholders describing what he had seen. It was, as a national news correspondent put it, "a masterpiece of restrained agony." The loss and devastation moved him to place even greater emphasis on safety in the company's operations. The firm's enviable safety record to this day reflects Edgar Monsanto Queeny's deep personal commitment to protecting workers from industrial accidents and health hazards.
It is in Mr. Queeny’s memory that Monsanto Company proudly supports the objectives of ASSE and sponsors the Edgar Monsanto Queeny Safety Professional of the Year Award.
The award is conveyed annually to recognize a safety professional who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the safety field while making significant contributions to advancing the safety profession. The recipient of the award is selected by ASSE’s Technical and Professional Recognition Committee.