The conference was first held under the auspices of the Planning And Statistics Division of the War Production Board at Princeton University in December 1945, with one of the participants being Dr. W. Edwards Deming. The War Board held another meeting in December 1946. Then the conference was renamed the Princeton Conference and held annually at Princeton University. The Metropolitan Section of the ASA first sponsored it. In the early fifties, sponsorship was transferred to its present sponsor, the Metropolitan Section of the ASQ. In 1971, the Biopharmaceutical Section of the ASA and in 1979 the Statistics Division of the ASA assumed cosponsorship. For the first 25 years, members of the Statistics Department of Princeton University were heavily involved in its organization, in particular, Professor J. Stuart Hunter. In 1970, its chair was assumed by Walter R. Young who has held it ever since. Before, Mr. Young assumed the chairmanship, the conference started after lunch on Friday and ended after lunch on Saturday. The conference then steadily grew in attendance and length. Book sales and tutorials based on recently published texts started in 1976. The conference had a peak attendance of 476 in 1977 and assumed its present all tutorial and 2 two-day short course format in 1979
In 1979, due to its size, the conference was transferred to Villanova University for one year and then held at Newark Airport for five years. It was moved to its current site in Atlantic City in 1985.
Dr. Deming spoke at the conference on a numerous occasions. In 1980, the conference established the Deming Medal, which was awarded at the conference to outstanding statisticians and quality control practitioners for the next 17 years. The awarding of the medal was then transferred to the ASQ. Dr Deming gave the conference抯 keynote address in 13 of these years. He died immediately after the conference in 1993. The conference was named in his honor the following year.