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Jane Cahill Pfeiffer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jane Cahill Pfeiffer, was an American executive. Pfeiffer was the first chairwoman of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) between 1978 and 1980.

Early life

On September 29, 1932, Pfeiffer was born as Jane Pennington Cahill in Washington DC.[1][2]


Pfeiffer earned a B.A. in speech and drama from the University of Maryland in 1954. From 1956 to 1957 she undertook graduate courses in philosophy at Georgetown University and Catholic University.[2]


Pfeiffer entered a novitiate to become a Roman Catholic nun, leaving after six months.

Pfeiffer started her career at IBM as a systems-engineer trainee.

In 1966, Pfeiffer was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to serve as the first female White House fellow, until 1967. Pfeiffer worked with Robert Wood, undersecretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, on streamlining the Housing and Home Finance Agency.[2]

Pfeiffer was a vice president of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).[3]

Pfeiffer was an executive at NBC. Pfeiffer solved an internal criminal scandal, reduced the NBC board of directors from eighteen to nine members, and reorganized the news division. However, her staff found that her memos were arrogant, did not delegate responsibility, and disliked her wholesale replacements in the finance, personnel, and technical areas.

In 1979, Pfeiffer became the first female chair of NBC, a job she held until 1980.[1] Pfeiffer resigned in 1980.

Original "Supersister"

In 1979, the Supersisters trading card set was produced and distributed; one of the cards featured Pfeiffer's name and picture.[4]

Personal life

On March 5, 2019, Pfeiffer died in Vero Beach, Florida.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Brown, Dennis (March 7, 2019). "In Memoriam: Emerita Trustee Jane Cahill Pfeiffer". Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "In Memoriam for Jane Pfeiffer". Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  3. ^ "Westchester Guide - By Eleanor Charles - JANE PFEIFFER TO SPEAK". Westchester County (Ny): 1981-09-27. Retrieved 2015-06-22.
  4. ^ Wulf, Steve (2015-03-23). "Supersisters: Original Roster". Retrieved 2015-06-04.
This page was last edited on 4 May 2020, at 07:10
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