Clare Perry Stanford, 82, a nuclear physicist and entrepreneur who turned a nearly bankrupt Arlington identification company into a leading processor of ID cards for banks and corporations, died of cancer July 1 at his home in Vienna.
Dr. Stanford bought the company that became known as Faraday National Corp. in 1971 and developed it into a plastic card manufacturer and processor at the time that magnetic stripe cards were beginning to appear. He helped develop a hologram now applied to credit cards to increase customer security. He sold the company in 1984 to De La Rue Ltd. of London and retired as president of the company in 1987.
Long before operating his own business, Dr. Stanford learned how to work hard. Born in Ewen in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, he worked his way through Albion College by pouring iron at a foundry and cooking for his college co-op house. He also became captain of the football team and graduated with academic honors in physics and math.
He qualified for electronics training in the Army Signal Corps during World War II and was assigned to the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tenn., where he worked at the Y-12 electromagnetic separation plant, which provided the material for the Hiroshima atom bomb.
After the war, he did nuclear research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory while working toward a master's degree he received in 1951 and a doctorate in 1953, both in physics from the University of Tennessee.
In 1954, Westinghouse Electric hired him to be a project leader for a nuclear research reactor under construction that had sparked a public outcry. The company sent him to Harvard Business School for middle-management training and, upon his return, he was assigned to a nuclear submarine project.
In 1961, he became chief engineer for the nuclear division of Martin Marietta in Baltimore, and four years later he became vice president of research at Calumet and Hecla, a mining and manufacturing company. In 1968, he took a job as vice president of research and engineering at Allis-Chalmers in Milwaukee.
He returned to the Washington area in 1971 and bought the ID company.
He served on the board of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington for 12 years and on the board of the Guardian Foundation, which supports United Methodist Family Services. As a volunteer retiree with the International Executive Service Corps, he was sent to Sri Lanka to help a company trying to manufacture plastic cards.
Survivors include his wife, Ann Stanford of Vienna; three children, Leslie Stanford of Wilmington, Del., Alan Stanford of Whitewater, Wis., and Janette Stanford Nance of Vienna; a sister; and four grandchildren.