William Maxwell Reed was born on March 3, 1892 in Louisville, KY. After World War II, he returned to Louisville to his small automobile paint shop which he was operating before the war. His inventive mind soon led him to design and build the first air filter for successful use in his business. He generally is known as the “father” of air cleaning equipment. He organized the first Reed Air Filter Company and obtained many patents. He merged other companies, employing new methods of dust control with his company. The American Air Filter Company was the result.
Mr. Reed did not attend or graduate college from UK or any other college. He graduated from Louisville male High School and First Officers Candidate School at Ft. Benjamin Harrison. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by UK in 1953.
Mr. Reed died on February 2, 1956. During the late 1950s and the early 1960s, Mrs. Reed and The American Filter Company made charitable gifts in his memory to UK, and the William Maxwell Reed Seminar Series is funded by these contributions.
Effective Fall 2010, additional seminars will be given by graduate students and departmental faculty. These will be designated as such and will not be considered a William Maxwell Reed Seminar.