John N. Maguire, 82, the founder and chief executive of the Reston-based Software AG North America, died of cancer Nov. 27 at his home in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

His son Michael Maguire confirmed his death.

In 1972, Mr. Maguire founded his company, which specialized in software to help large businesses manage their databases and write new software. The operation subsequently became a wholly owned subsidiary of Software AG, which was based in Germany.

In 1991, the year before Mr. Maguire left the business, the firm had 4,200 employees, revenue of $371 million and an operating profit of $27 million. In 1992, Mr. Maguire was asked to leave in a dispute that media accounts described as the result of disagreements between the German management and the organization’s U.S. executives.

John Norris Maguire was born in Brockton, Mass. He served in the Navy from 1950 to 1954, graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and received a master’s degree in industrial management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1960.

Early in his career, he was employed by Lockheed’s Missiles and Space Division in California. He moved to the Washington area in 1966 and was vice president of eastern operations for CACI, then an Arlington-based business software and management company, from 1966 to 1972.

Mr. Maguire endowed a professorial chair in information technology at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

A former resident of Great Falls and Reston, he moved to South Carolina in 2001.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Ann Louise Connolly Maguire of Myrtle Beach; three children, John N. Maguire III of Little Rock, S.C., Alicia Maguire of Gaithersburg and Michael Maguire of Washington; and a granddaughter. A son, Martin Maguire, died in 2002.

Bart Barnes