NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- Former Johnson & Johnson CEO James E. Burke, who helped the company expand dramatically around the world and steered it through the Tylenol poisonings in the 1980s, has died.
The company said Burke died late Friday at the age of 87.
Burke, who spent 37 years at New Brunswick, N.J., company, was a winner of the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Vermont native started at J&J in 1953 as a product director and became president in 1973. He served as CEO and chairman from 1976 through 1989. After retiring that year, Burke became chairman of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a nonprofit group fighting drug abuse that's now called The Partnership at Drugfree.org.
Burke and his wife, Didi, who survives him, were longtime residents of Princeton, N.J.