AKRON, Ohio (AP) _ Edwin Joel Thomas, a local boy who grew up to become president and then chief executive officer and chairman of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., has died at the age of 87.

Thomas, who died late Tuesday at Akron General Medical Center, served longer as president of the world's largest tire manufacturer than any one else has before or since.

His career with Goodyear began in May 1916, shortly before he graduated from the local high school, as a part-time clerk.

His total service with Goodyear stretched over 55 years.

Thomas was elected president in 1940, chief executive officer in 1956 and chairman in 1958.

He also was a director of Procter & Gamble Co. for 14 years; Armco Steel Corp. six years, and Knight-Ridder Newspapers for 17 years.

Thomas retired from Goodyear in 1964 and from the company's board of directors in 1971.

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