DEFINITION of E. Linn Draper Jr.

E. Linn Draper Jr. is a former Chairman, CEO and President of Ohio-based public utility holding company American Electric Power Company (AEP). He became the company's leader just as energy deregulation took place, and he led a merger with another major public utility holding company (Central & South West Corp.), reassured investors of the company's strength in the wake of the Enron scandal, and kept the company afloat through the recession of 2001-2002.

BREAKING DOWN E. Linn Draper Jr.

Born in 1942 in Houston, Dr. Draper Jr. earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Rice University in 1965 and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1970. He then taught at the University of Texas until 1979, when he joined Gulf States Utilities and worked his way into senior management. In 1987 he joined American Electric Power. He became its President and COO in 1992 and its chairman, CEO and President in 1993. He stepped down as President and CEO at the end of 2003 and retired from his position as Chairman in early 2004.

Dr. Draper entered into the annals of strong American corporate leaders through his work in successfully steering AEP through tumultuous times in the otherwise staid industry. By focusing on wholesale power generation, paring down the utility's cost structure, maintaining a responsible balance sheet, and building in buffers in its grid, the CEO managed to avoid much of the harsh impact that other utility companies experienced during the onset of disruptive industry deregulation, stay clear of the stench that Enron billowed forth, and run normal operations through the worst blackout in U.S. history in August 2003.