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Dee Hock, Credit Card Visionary, Is Dead at 93

  • August 05, 2022

That vision, long since realized, has made Visa the world’s leading credit card network, with 3.9 billion cards issued and a total purchase volume of $13 trillion.

“What he did was undeniable: He made credit cards work,” Joe Nocera, a former New York Times columnist who wrote about Mr. Hock in his book “A Piece of the Action: How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class” (1994), said in a phone interview. “He took a system on the brink of collapse and said, ‘Follow me, I’ll take you to the promised land.’”

Dee Ward Hock ws born on March 21, 1929, in North Ogden, Utah. His father, Alma, was a utility lineman. His mother, Cecil (Dawson) Hock, was a homemaker.

As a boy, Dee became enamored of the biology and ecology around him in rural Utah, but he followed a banker’s career track after graduating in 1949 from the two-year Weber State College (now University) in Ogden.

Over the next 17 years, Mr. Hock was the manager of two branches of the bank Pacific Finance; an assistant manager of public relations and advertising for Pacific; general manager of the Columbia Investment Company; and a supervisor at CIT Financial (now Group). He was hired by National Bank of Commerce in 1966. But before joining it, he had “essentially retired on the job,” his son said in an interview.

“When people left him alone, he was usually the most successful part of the organization,” David Hock added. “But when they wanted to fix it, they usually messed it up.”

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