R. Blair Smith

Head of the project within the Advanced Systems Development Division of IBM that developed the first airline reservation systems (SABRE) for American Airlines.

Smith joined the sales department of IBM in 1950 after nearly 11 years as an IBM customer. In 1952-1953 he was senior salesman in the Santa Monica office and was then promoted to headquarters as one of the first special representatives in EDPM. He served as manager of market analysis and field testing for all proposed IBM products, director of corporate methods and operations research, and head of the airline systems (SABRE) for the Advanced Systems Development Division. Until forced to take early retirement because of a broken neck and major surgery, he was in charge of IBM's work with the airline industry.

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