Henry Singleton (1916-1999)

Henry E. Singleton was a splendid Electrical Engineer, business mogul as well as a cattle rancher who was famous for his innate contributions to the aircraft industry. He was also a co-founder of one of America’s most successful business corporations- Teledyne, Inc.- where he thrived as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for a period of thirty years

The Outsiders

Henry Singleton was featured in William Thorndike’s book The Outsiders, as one of eight CEOs who lead their respective companies to outperform the S&P500 stock market index by a factor of more than 20.

Singleton was also given special mention by Prem Watsa, in his 1997 letter to shareholders of Fairfax Financial, who characterized Singleton as “the Michael Jordan of stock buybacks.”

Henry Singleton was also a good friend of Leon Cooperman, who has published and presented case studies on Singleton’s performance as a capital allocator during his time at Teledyne.

Books Featuring Henry Singleton

Early Life

Henry Singleton was conceived in 1916 in Haslet, Tex., on a farm where his dad raised cotton and cows. He attended to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., yet exchanged to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned Bachelors, ace’s and doctoral degrees in the electrical building.

Amid World War II he served in the Office of Strategic Services in Europe. He additionally built up a framework for expelling the attractive field from boats so they couldn’t be distinguished by submarines.

Prior after the war, Singleton worked at Hughes Aircraft, North American Aviation and afterwards Litton Industries, where he maintained the hardware gear business until 1960. Henry Singleton was depicted by the individuals who knew him as amazingly brainy. He could discuss protracted sections from Shakespeare and different artists and furthermore preferred to play chess without taking a gander at the board, keeping the places of the pieces in his mind.

In the wake of joining forces with George Kozmetsky, an associate from Litton, Singleton made an arrangement to obtain Teledyne, which was, at the time a military temporary worker that had for all intents and purposes crumbled in light of the fact that it lost its principle contract.

Dr Singleton headed Teledyne from its establishment in 1960 until 1986 and remained its executive until 1991. He resigned as chief in 1997, yet at the same time claimed 7.2% of the stock. Latter years, Singleton returned to his underlying foundations in raising cows, accumulating farms in New Mexico and California that made him one of the country’s biggest individual landowners.


Henry Earl Singleton started his Higher education in 1933 and after two years received the appointment to United States Naval Academy as a Freshman in 1935. He later went on to study Electrical Engineering at MIT graduating in 1940 with a Bachelor’s (Sc. B) and Master’s (Sc. M) in it. A few years later, he returned to earn a doctorate degree (Sc. D) at MIT in 1950.


Following his graduation from MIT and unable to fulfil his desires of joining the Military due to his physique, he opted to take up the position of Civil Service at Naval Ordinance Laboratory (NOL) as an electrical engineer. Following his success there, he joined ASWORG in 1942 where he contributed to the startup of operations research in The United States of America.

He was Disbanded in 1945 after the World War and thereafter joined the ITT Corporation in 1946 where he took up the position as a patent engineer for two years. After successful completion of his doctorate degree, he was invited to be part of a team at Hughes aircraft and thereafter joined Litton industries in 1954 and by 1958, he was made the VP and GM of the Electronics Engineering Sector. In 1960, he joined Teledyne where he remained a Board Director for a period of 33 years.

His time at Teledyne, Inc.

Henry Singleton helped to establish Teledyne in 1960 and diverted the organization from an industry minnow into a profoundly gainful U.S. company. Development was driven through acquisitions of profoundly underestimated open organizations. In spite of the fact that Singleton would just obtain organizations that guaranteed a high rate of return. In the event that no such arrangements could be discovered, Henry Singleton committed Teledyne’s capital towards making stock repurchases and delicate offers.

Much the same as Buffett, Singleton declined to pay a profit in light of the fact that Teledyne could reinvest income at over 30%; a higher rate than could be accomplished somewhere else. Furthermore, the aftereffects of this field-tested strategy were top notch. Teledyne accomplished EPS development of 1,200% in just ten years and profit for value surpassed 30%. The organizations Teledyne gained were not excellent, or exceptional.

The company was dynamically organized. For example, seaward boring, automobile parts, forte metals, machines apparatuses, electronic segments, motors, high devotion speakers, unmanned aeroplane and Water Pik home apparatuses. A financial specialist who places cash into Teledyne stock in 1966 accomplished a yearly return of 17.9% more than 25 years, or a 53x profit for contributed capital versus 6.7x for the S&P 500, 9.0x for GE and 7.1x for other similar combinations.

Personal life of Henry Singleton

Henry Earl Singleton was conceived by John Bartholomew Singleton and Victoria (Flores) Singleton. On the 30th November 1942, Henry Singleton got married to Caroline Woods. Singleton had met Caroline Wood while he was attending MIT; Caroline W. Singleton passed on in 2007. Together they have five children James Singleton, John Singleton, William Singleton, Diana Singleton and Christina Singleton


Henry Singleton’s achievements preceding the beginning of Teledyne, you would swear he would direct not even close to a business profession. Growing up with a demeanour towards math and science, Singleton went to MIT where he earned his PhD in electrical designing. Singleton’s brightness around math was evident to the point that in 1939 he was granted the Putnam Medal, an honour recognizing the best mathematic understudy in the nation.

Besides exceeding expectations in the scholarly community, his diversion of chess enabled him to exceed expectations to the positions of just 100 points short of a grandmaster level. Subsequent to finishing his PhD, he promptly entered research completing a couple of short stretches at General Electric Co and Hughes Aircraft. It wasn’t some time before he was enrolled to Litton Industries where he imagined a direction framework for business and military flying machine.

Singleton exceeded expectations at Litton, yet it was clear subsequent to being left behind for an authority position that his profession there had an advantageous roof. In July of 1960, Singleton chose the time had come to wander out without anyone else. He and another Litton Industries associate by the name of George Kozmetsky scratched together underlying speculation to frame Teledyne.

In the 1960s American business was in a fascinating stage. WWII had made an impetus for new advancements and enterprises. A large portion of these organizations was no longer in the “startup” stage, yet gainful endeavours. Proprietors of these organizations were either searching for cash-flow to grow or another proprietor so they could resign.

Singleton and Kozmetsky perceived the developing significance of advanced semiconductors and utilized that as a starting point for their organization. With $450,000 in capital, the team began by securing three little electronic organizations. This base of three organizations enabled them to verify a maritime contract effectively.

His Death

Unfortunately, he died on August 31st, 1999 aged 83 years, as a result of brain cancer.