[Congressional Record Volume 143, Number 62 (Tuesday, May 13, 1997)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E902-E903]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                         TRIBUTE TO BOB KRIEBLE


                           HON. NEWT GINGRICH

                               of georgia

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, May 13, 1997

  Mr. GINGRICH. Mr. Speaker, Bob Krieble passed away last week. In 
addition to being a friend, he was a scientist, an entrepreneur and an 
investor. But most importantly, he was a man who loved his country and 
loved freedom. He may not have been known to many Americans, but his 
influence spread far and wide in this country and abroad.
  As a scientist, he invented the chemical mixture to help metal 
tighten to metal. From there, as a entrepreneur with his father, he 
founded Loctite Corporation. He held patents in the field of silicones, 
anaerobic adhesives and petrochems.
  As an investor, he sought out emerging markets, including Korea and 
encouraged entrepreneurs wherever he went.
  Yes, he was a patron of the conservative movement and a great one at 
that. In 1978, he joined the Heritage Foundation, and through his 
leadership, helped build one of the premier think tanks in the country 
today. In addition to Heritage, Bob also sat on the boards of Empower 
America, the Free Congress Foundation and was an active participant in 
many other conservative organizations. But it is not merely in the 
furtherance of a particular ideology that Bob's impact was felt.
  Most significantly, in 1989, he founded the Krieble Institute to 
promote democracy, elections and free enterprise in the Soviet Union 
and Eastern Europe--before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He made more 
than 80 trips over there, conducting seminars, meeting with leaders and 
training a full-time network of over 20,000 field experts to establish 
political economic reform.
  At the time, he shared this sentiment with a friend: ``I'm 76 and I'm 
in a hurry to help these people achieve the freedom that so many 
Americans take for granted.'' Bob Krieble had the vision to see that 
rapid change in Eastern Europe could happen. Others thought it would 
take more than a decade, but Bob put his money, mind and commitment 
where his heart was and helped bring about the change he knew was 
  Bob Krieble was right, and so much of what has changed in the world 
today is a tribute to Bob's work, insights and influence.
  He will be sorely missed.
  I enter into the Congressional Record a further remembrance of Bob 
Krieble from our mutual friend Richard Rahn.

            Dr. Robert Krieble, August 22, 1916-May 8, 1997

                           (By Richard Rhan)

                     Thoughts on a giant of a man.

       It is rare to be able to make the unambiguous statement 
     that an individual has made the world, not a better place, 
     but a significantly better place, because of what he has done 
     during his life. Bob Krieble was one of those very rare 
     individuals--a world-class scientist, a highly successful 
     entrepreneur and businessman, a philanthropist, an 
     adventurer, an extraordinary fighter for freedom

[[Page E903]]

     and liberty who altered the course of history, a visionary, 
     and always a kind and generous gentleman.
       Bob Krieble invented what are commonly known as super 
     adhesives where the bond is stronger than the materials it 
     holds together. This invention has made life better and 
     easier for virtually every manufacturer, hobbyist and 
     homeowner on the globe. He literally changed the way many 
     things are put together, from engines to toys. Starting with 
     $100,000 from family and friends in the 1950's, he built a 
     billion dollar multinational corporation. He created tens of 
     thousands of well-paying jobs all over the world.
       Bob was a distinguished chemist who did not forget that the 
     scientific method has equal applicability to the political 
     and economic sciences. He was a successful entrepreneur and 
     investor because he understood it is better to place your 
     assets in those countries that are pursuing relatively pro-
     growth economic policies, and are moving towards freedom 
     rather than away from it. Though not a trained economist, he 
     understood far better than many in the economics profession 
     that low tax rates, a low level of economic regulation and 
     government spending, sound money, and strong enforcement of 
     property rights and civil contracts do far more to better the 
     human condition than government transfer payments. He not 
     only understood these things, he acted to bring them about 
     across the globe through his energy and his financial support 
     of politicians and institutions that were moving the world 
     towards freedom and away from statism.
       There are literally dozens of pro-democracy and pro-free 
     market institutions that Bob Krieble generously supported, 
     and in many cases helped to create. For example, he was one 
     of the key early supporters of both the Heritage Foundation 
     and the Free Congress Foundation. In addition, he gave away 
     millions to help individuals who were in trouble all over the 
     world, whether it was because of personal hardship, or 
     because some totalitarian thug was trying to suppress the 
     liberties of the people. His wonderful family, wife Nancy, 
     daughter Helen, and son Fred shared his values, and have been 
     supporting his work in their own right.
       When the conventional wisdom was that the Soviet empire 
     would go on many more years, Bob Krieble saw the rot and 
     decided to push the demise a bit faster. In the 1980's he 
     began financially supporting many of the dissident pro-
     democracy groups in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. He 
     bought and delivered to them computers and fax machines. The 
     US media, business, and political establishment ridiculed 
     him. Business Week ran a derisive article entitled. ``The 
     Quixotic Quest of Robert Krieble.'' Bob, of course, remained 
     undeterred, and as usual was soon proven right, as the walls 
     came a-tumbling down. Bob not only fought communism and 
     helped to speed its demise, but understood that the 
     destruction of communism was not enough. He realized that to 
     have a safe, prosperous and free world, you have to have 
     people in place who understand democracy and free markets. He 
     created the Krieble Institute and spent millions of dollars 
     of his own money on building a network of influential people 
     in the former communist countries and on political and 
     economic training, to help ensure that qualified people would 
     be available to serve in the new non-communist governments.
       Almost no one in the United States had heard of Boris 
     Yeltsin until Bob Krieble got some of the Republican 
     Congressional leaders to invite him for a trip to the US, 
     which Bob helped to underwrite. Bob was one of Yeltsin's 
     first American friends and apparently had a strong influence 
     on him. A couple of years after the fall of communism in 
     Russia, Bob was attacked by some communist deputies in the 
     Russian Duma and in the communist press, as the evil 
     capitalist who brought down communism. Bob's response was to 
     fly to Moscow and hold a press conference to respond to his 
     critics. He began by explaining that as much as he was 
     honored by their accusations, he felt that he could only take 
     a little credit for the end of communism.
       For all of his accomplishments and wealth, Bob was a modest 
     man who sought few creature comforts. In his travels in 
     Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, he rarely stayed 
     in the first class hotels--in those few cities where they 
     were available--but preferred to stay in hotels that could be 
     afforded by the locals, which most of us Americans viewed as 
     only one step up from camping. In Washington, he drove a 
     little Ford Festiva. After a typically hair-raising ride with 
     him one day (Bob drove more like an eighteen-year-old than an 
     eighty-year-old), I asked him why he did not buy a bigger and 
     safer car. He said, ``The less money I spend on myself, the 
     more I have to give away.''
       Bob was a man of great physical courage and energy. The day 
     the Russian tanks were shelling the Russian ``White House,'' 
     Bob was in Moscow. He walked to the Moscow river embankment 
     down below the building so that he ``could have a close 
     look.'' Bob was a pilot who enjoyed flying acrobatic 
     airplanes until he was well in his seventies. Scuba diving 
     was another of his hobbies. On one occasion, a couple of the 
     Novecon board members and I met him at the bar in the 
     Radisson Hotel in Moscow. There he was sitting on the bar 
     stool waiting for us, and after a bit, he casually informed 
     us that he had spent the previous night in a hospital in 
     Minsk because of illness, but there he was ready to go to 
     work the next day in Moscow.
       Bob was a rarity among businessmen; he did not try to curry 
     favor in Washington, yet he was among the most influential of 
     all businessmen in the Nation's Capital. The influence came, 
     not just for his support of members of Congress who agreed 
     with him, but because he was so principled. For example, when 
     the US Chamber of Commerce reversed long-standing policies 
     against socialized health care and tax increases, in a short-
     lived attempt to gain favor with the Clinton Administration, 
     Bob Krieble was among only a handful of Board members who had 
     the courage to resign in a public protest. Within a number of 
     months he was again proven right, as the Chamber's membership 
     forced it back to the principled position.
       Many new companies around the world owe their very 
     existence to Bob Krieble. He delighted in helping new 
     entrepreneurs, particularly in newly freed economies. He 
     understood that without a vibrant private business sector in 
     the former communist countries, democracy would not prevail. 
     He often talked to me about the need to build business 
     partnerships in the transition countries. As a result, he co-
     founded the Novecon companies with me in our attempt to 
     create profitable entrepreneurial partnerships in the former 
     communist lands. His love of new technology never waned. Just 
     a few weeks ago, I took him to Novecon Technologies' new 
     little silicon carbide wafer plant in Herndon, Virginia, to 
     meet with Gene Lewis, Jim LeMunyon and the Russian scientists 
     who had developed the process. He took a great interest in 
     Gene's explanation of the new and unique technological 
     process. On our drive back to Washington, he had the 
     enthusiasm of a twelve-year-old boy as he slapped the 
     dashboard and said, ``Those fellows really have something 
       Bob Krieble never gave up the fight for freedom. Each week, 
     until he was stricken last month, he would commute from his 
     estate in Old Lyme, Connecticut to his office and little 
     apartment in Washington. He spent his time helping people and 
     advising and supporting political leaders, institutions, and 
     influential individuals to do the right thing. After a life 
     of extraordinary accomplishment, Bob Krieble could have 
     easily chosen a life of quiet retirement. Instead, he 
     remained a vigorous revolutionary for free peoples and free 
     markets to the end.