Ed Welburn, Retired VP of GM Global Design

December 14, 1950 –

Ed Welburn first encountered Corvette at around 5 years old while walking with his mother along a street in Philadelphia. A passing Corvette kicking up leaves would help shape the man who would one day help shape the Corvettes of the future.

Three years later at the Philadelphia Auto Show, he would see a Cadillac which locked in his goal to design cars for General Motors.

His journey would take him to Howard University, in their School of Fine Arts, where he would land an internship at GM. While there, he caught the eye of Chuck Jordan, assistant to Bill Mitchell, VP of Design, leading to a fulltime job in Design at GM.

Told by a friend that he would never be a chief designer or executive at GM because he was an African American, Ed began to push harder. His creativity, work ethic, and natural leadership skills would ultimately take him to the position of Global Vice President of Design.

Ed would inspire studios world-wide when he invited everyone to submit their ideas for the C7 Corvette. The result of that was what Ed called an “explosion of emotion, passion and excitement” that rippled through all of design staff. While Corvette was still designed in the Corvette studio, every designer around the world felt like they had been a part of the process.

Under Ed’s leadership the Stingray Corvette was reborn, and the mid-engine C8 Corvette design would be well underway.

Ed Welburn retired in 2016, but his influence continues to be felt wherever there is a parent walking with their child on a tree lined street somewhere, and a new Corvette passes by, kicking up leaves.