Kuhn, Robert Lawrence 1944-

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Kuhn, Robert Lawrence 1944-


Born November 6, 1944, in New York, NY; son of Louis and Lee Kuhn; marred Dora Elana Serviarian, June 23, 1967; children: Aaron, Adam, Daniella. Education: Johns Hopkins University, A.B., 1964; University of California, Los Angeles, Ph.D., 1968; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, M.S., 1980. Hobbies and other interests: Weightlifting, ping pong/table tennis, chess, classical music.


Home—Irvine, CA. E-mail—[email protected]


Investment banker, corporate financier, educator, writer. Consultant in corporate strategy and finance in New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Beijing, China, and Tokyo, Japan, 1980; adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Business Administration, New York University, 1981-89; international adviser in finance and high technology to the governments of the United States, Israel, Germany, and China, 1984; research fellow in creative and innovative management at the IC2 Institute, University of Texas, Austin, 1986; executive-in-residence at the University of Southern California, 1990; Geneva Companies, Irvine, CA, president, 1991-2002, vice chairman, 2002; Salomon Smith Barney, managing director, 2001; Kuhn Media Group and Pacvia Communications, chair. Also creator and host of television series Closer to Truth and producer of In Search of China, both for the Public Broadcasting Service. Member of the board of advisors, University of Southern California School of Business, 1992. Taught psychology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and anatomy at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Phi Beta Kappa.


Sloan fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 1979.


Mid-sized Firms: Success Strategies and Methodology, Praeger (New York, NY), 1982.

(With George Thomas Geis) The Firm Bond: Linking Meaning and Mission in Business and Religion, Praeger (New York, NY), 1984.

(Editor, with Raymond W. Smilor) Corporate Creativity: Robust Companies and the Entrepreneurial Spirit, Praeger (New York, NY), 1984.

(Editor) Commercializing Defense Related Technology, Praeger (New York, NY), 1984.

(Editor, with Eugene B. Konecci) Technology Venturing: American Innovation and Risk-Taking, Praeger (New York, NY), 1985.

(Editor, with Margaret N. Maxey) Regulatory Reform: New Vision or Old Curse?, Praeger (New York, NY), 1985.

(Editor) Frontiers in Creative and Innovative Management, Ballinger Publishing (Cambridge, MA), 1985.

To Flourish among Giants: Creative Management for Mid-sized Firms, Wiley (New York, NY), 1985.

(Editor, with Raymond W. Smilor) Managing Take-Off in Fast Growth Companies: Innovations in Entrepreneurial Firms, Praeger (New York, NY), 1986.

(Editor, with Stewart Nozette) Commercializing SDI Technologies, Praeger (New York, NY), 1987.

(With George T. Geis) Micromanaging: Transforming Business Leaders with Personal Computers, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1987.

(Editor) Frontiers of Medical Information Sciences, Praeger (New York, NY), 1988.

(With Arie Lavie) Industrial Research and Development in Israel: Patterns and Portents, Praeger (New York, NY), 1988.

Dealmaker: All the Negotiating Skills and Secrets You Need, Wiley (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor, with Yuji Ijiri) New Directions in Creative and Innovative Management: Bridging Theory and Practice, Ballinger (Cambridge, MA), 1988.

Creativity and Strategy in Mid-sized Firms, Prentice Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1989.

(With R. Donald Gamach) The Creativity Infusion: How Managers Can Start and Sustain Creativity and Innovation, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1989.

Investment Banking: The Art and Science of High-Stakes Dealmaking, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1990.

(Editor) Generating Creativity and Innovation in Large Bureaucracies, Quorum Books (Westport, CT), 1993.

(Editor) Closer to Truth: Challenging Current Belief, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 2000.

Creativity and Thinking (sound recording), Hay House Audio (Carlsbad, CA), 2000.

The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin, Crown Publishers (New York, NY), 2004.

Closer to Truth: Science, Meaning, and the Future, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 2007.

The Man Who Changed China has been published in Chinese.


Handbook for Creative and Innovative Managers, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1988.

Capital Raising and Financial Structure, Dow Jones-Irwin (Homewood, IL), 1990.

Corporate and Municipal Securities, Dow Jones-Irwin (Homewood, IL), 1990.

Index to the Library of Investment Banking, Dow Jones-Irwin (Homewood, IL), 1990.

International Finance and Investing, Dow-Jones Irwin (Homewood, IL), 1990.

Investing and Risk Management, Dow-Jones Irwin (Homewood, IL), 1990.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Leveraged Buyouts, Dow Jones-Irwin (Homewood, IL), 1990.

Mortgage and Asset Securitization, Dow-Jones Irwin (Homewood, IL), 1990.


Robert Lawrence Kuhn is an internationally known investment banker and corporate strategist who also has a strong interest in science and technology. He began his writing career authoring or editing numerous business books. Several of his books focus on creativity in the business world, including his books Creativity and Strategy in Mid-sized Firms and The Creativity Infusion: How Managers Can Start and Sustain Creativity and Innovation, written with R. Donald Gamach. Kuhn is also the edi- tor of Generating Creativity and Innovation in Large Bureaucracies. The book presents the views of numerous major management scholars and strategists who draw on examples form the United States, Japan, and elsewhere to examine the forces and factors that enhance or inhibit creative and innovative activities in large organizations.

Kuhn is also the author of a biography of Jiang Zemin, the ex-leader of China, where Kuhn has done business for many years and has had a long-established relationship with the government and other institutions. In a review of Kuhn's biography of Jiang, titled The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin, Gilbert Taylor noted in Booklist that the author's "portrait is positive, frequently laudatory, and liberally doses its chronicle … with anecdotes from his [Jiang's] friends and family."

In his biography of Jiang, who was the leader of China from 1989 to 2004, the author traces Jiang's career beginning as a grassroots organizer of protests against Japanese occupation, then rising to mayor of Shanghai, and ultimately assuming the position of general secretary of China's Communist Party in 1989 and president of China in 1993. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that the author views Jiang as "a visionary who put a new face on China through his love of science and technology." Some reviewers, such as Bruce Gilley in a review in Foreign Affairs, deemed the biography too favorable toward Jiang and therefore a type of propaganda piece. However, in another article in Foreign Affairs, Kuhn responded to the charge, noting: "My intention … was to move beyond all the hype and bias about China so as to understand how Chinese leaders think." To bolster his case of impartiality, the author also wrote: "My rendition of events, such as the U.S. bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia in 1999, differs markedly from that of the official Chinese media. In a publisher's note, Chinese readers are advised: ‘Certain viewpoints and opinions of the author, as a Westerner, bear a definite distance from those of our own. Hopefully the reader will understand.’"

Kuhn is also the creator and host of the twenty-eight-part television series Closer to Truth, which presents renowned scientists, scholars, and artists discussing fundamental ideas and issues about the role of science in the modern world, including new technological advances for improving life and science's relationship with religion. In addition, he is author of the companion book for the series titled Closer to Truth: Science, Meaning, and the Future. An Internet Bookwatch contributor noted that Closer to Truth "supercedes similar titles" and also called it "a powerful survey." Among the numerous topics discussed in the book are alternative medicine, the nature of consciousness, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

In an interview on PBS.org, the author explained why he believes the series and book are so important at this point in history. Kuhn noted: "A primary characteristic of the modern world is our technological development. These science-related changes have a profound effect on our daily lives as well as how we perceive ourselves as individuals and in the world." The author went on to comment: "The information … can help us to make more informed decisions about the choices science presents to us."



Booklist, December 15, 2004, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin, p. 703.

China Quarterly, March, 2005, Bruce Gilley, review of The Man Who Changed China, p. 169.

Christianity Today, July 11, 1986, Joseph M. Hopkins, review of The Firm Bond: Linking Meaning and Mission in Business and Religion, p. 45.

Far Eastern Economic Review, January-February, 2005, Benjamin L. Read, review of The Man Who Changed China, p. 70.

Foreign Affairs, September 1, 2005, Bruce Gilley, "In China's Own Eyes," review of The Man Who Changed China, p. 150; January 1, 2006, Robert Lawrence Kuhn and Bruce Gilley, "One Country, Two Prisms," p. 167.

Inc, November, 1982, review of Mid-sized Firms: Success Strategies and Methodology, p. 165.

Internet Bookwatch, November, 2007, review of Closer to Truth: Science, Meaning, and the Future.

Library Journal, January, 1989, Ronald A. Gagnon, review of Dealmaker: All the Negotiating Skills and Secrets You Need, p. 116.

Psychology Today, March 1, 2003, Willow Lawson, "Television—Closer to Truth: Science, Meaning, and the Future," review of television program based on book, p. 78.

Publishers Weekly, December 13, 2004, review of The Man Who Changed China, p. 59.

SciTech Book News, June, 2007, review of Closer to Truth.


Closer to Truth,http://www.closertotruth.com/ (February 1, 2008), profile of author.

PBS.org,http://www.pbs.org/ (February 1, 2008), "Testing Conventional Wisdom, Seeking Truth and What It Means to Be Human; Robert Lawrence Kuhn," interview with author.