DIED. W. EDWARDS DEMING, 93, American industrial-efficiency expert and guru of the postwar Japanese economic miracle; in Washington. Deming was a modern illustration of the biblical truth that a prophet is without honor in his own land. Educated in mathematics and physics, he worked with Bell Labs' Walter Shewhart during the 1930s developing quality-control theories that stressed achieving uniform results during production rather than through inspection at the end of the production line. During World War II Deming successfully ; applied his approach to the making of airplane parts. Ignored by postwar American industry, the irascible Deming took his gospel to Japan in 1950, where it was embraced. His ideas finally took root in the U.S. in the 1980s, when the Detroit auto industry asked for his help in competing with the very Japanese firms he had inspired.