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Chandler, Alfred D., Jr. 1918-2007 (Alfred Dupont Chandler, Jr.)

Chandler, Alfred D., Jr. 1918-2007 (Alfred Dupont Chandler, Jr.)


See index for CA sketch: Born September 15, 1918, in Guyencourt, DE; died of heart failure, May 9, 2007, in Cambridge, MA. Historian, educator, and author. Chandler was a Pulitzer Prize-winning economic historian who was renowned as the dean of management theory for his writings concerning how technological innovations change business structures. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, he attended Harvard University, where he was on the sailing team with future U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Graduating in 1940, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander. Chandler then returned to Harvard to finish a master's degree in 1947. By this time, his focus on American history was shifting to the specialty of business history, and this is the subject in which he earned his doctorate in 1952. His thesis became his first book, Henry Varnum Poor: Business Editor, Analyst, and Reformer (1956), a biography about his great-grandfather, who also happened to be cofounder of Standard & Poor's. Chandler spent the 1950s and early 1960s on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty. He then taught at Johns Hopkins University before settling down at Harvard. Here he was Straus Professor of Business History from 1971 until his retirement in 1989 as professor emeritus. Unlike famed economist Adam Smith, who emphasized the impersonal impetus of free-market capitalism as a driving force, Chandler felt that changes in business could be initiated by specific developments in innovation. In the nineteenth century, for example, steam and electrical power changed the world economy, which he explained helped create a new class of business executives; Chandler held that biotechnology was the latest advance that would affect businesses worldwide. He expressed his views in such books as Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprise (1963), The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in America (1977), which won the Pulitzer as well as the Bancroft Prize, and Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism (1990), written with Takashi Hikino. Also editing numerous books on such subjects as the American auto industry and railroads, Chandler served as coeditor and consultant on the nine-volume The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower: The War Years (1970, 1978). His most recent books include the cowritten Inventing the Electronic Century: The Epic Story of the Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries (2001), Shaping the Industrial Century (2005), and the coedited Leviathans: Multinationals and the New Global History (2005).



Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2007, p. B10.

New York Times, May 12, 2007, p. A15; May 15, 2007, p. A2.

Times (London, England), May 30, 2007, p. 63.

Washington Post, May 14, 2007, p. B6.

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