Nathan H. Knorr & Fred W. Franz 

Nathan was an "organization man" from the start. Often cold and business-like and strongly disliked by a number of members of the headquarters for his quick turnabouts on policy and roughshod treatment of those opposed to his ideas, he had a flip side of love and compassion for his missionary students. He formed the Gilead Missionary School, he was the author of the modern house-to-house witnessing technique, and was largely responsible for the greatest growth in the organization seen in the period leading up to 1975. It was generally known that Knorr was the organizer and Franz was the writer/prophet.

Other members of the Governing Body demanded a greater share of power in 1975, to the dismay of Knorr and his vice-president Fred Franz.  Together they resented giving more power to others in leadership. Knorr died of cancer shortly after a major policy change in 1975, which established the structure of the modern-day Governing Body with Milton Henschel as its chairman and President of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society.

N. H. Knorr

Knorr was a visionary.
In 1942 the organization claimed 98,076 active members. By 1977 they claimed 2,223,538 active members. One day's production of books could make a stack twice as tall as the Empire State Building!

MAN printing press
Left to right: Lyman Swingle, Sullivan, Grant Suiter, Hugo Reimer, Nathan Knorr, Fred Franz and Milton Henshel early Governing Body
crowd of happy conventioners Every convention would bring several new books or booklets, always the high point. Some brought changes in understanding referred to as "new light," containing instructions that superceded previous understandings, termed "old light."

Valley Assembly Hall