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Donald R. Deutsch joined the US government agency now called the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the last 1970s and the X3H2 Database Standards Committee (DSC) in Washington DC in April 1978. Initially chartered only to develop a standard Data Definition Language (DDL) for network DBMSs, in time the DSC became the epicenter of US and international SQL standardization. Deutsch became the DSC vice chair at the second meeting and chair at the committee's 11th meeting in May 1980. Throughout his career that included (in addition to NIST) GE, Sybase, and now Oracle, he has continued to chair the DSC. From this perspective, this article describes how the SQL standard happened.