Robert W. Houk, who served as Public Printer of the United States at the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) from March 1990 to February 1993, died Sunday, December 4, at his home in Shelby, OH. He was 84. Houk served as the Nation’s 22nd Public Printer after being appointed by President George H.W. Bush. During his three years as the head of GPO, Houk issued a strategic plan for the agency that embraced the use of electronic information technologies while improving the provision of conventional printing and distribution services. Houk also testified before Congress in support of early legislation to provide GPO with electronic dissemination authority.
Houk was a native of Michigan and graduate of Michigan State University. He began his career in the printing industry at the Ford Motor Company in 1954, where he helped modernize printed business forms management and procurement. He also cofounded UFORMA, Inc., in 1965 and held executive positions at the company until 1988. Houk served as Chairman of the Board of Printing Industries of America (PIA). He was inducted into the Printing Impressions/Rochester Institute of Technology Printing Industry Hall of Fame in 1988. Houk served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947 and from 1952 to 1954.
“On behalf of the GPO, I extend our sincere condolences to the family of Public Printer Houk,” said Public Printer Bill Boarman. “Public Printer Houk helped guide GPO into the future while ensuring GPO's support for Congress, Federal agencies, and the public we serve."