Harold W. McGraw, Jr., Chairman Emeritus and Former CEO, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Died at His Home This Morning
As CEO of McGraw-Hill, he was always closely connected with employees, sending them hand-written notes, walking the corridors, and eating lunch in the company cafeteria. He advised employees to "make sure you get in a job you really enjoy, for doing worthwhile work for a worthwhile mission ought to be exciting and fun."
In recognition of his lifetime commitment to education, Mr. McGraw received the nation's highest literacy award in 1990 from President George H.W. Bush. President Bush, in presenting him with the Literacy Award said, "Your grandfather, James McGraw, began as a teacher before turning to publishing. It now seems so very appropriate that you should turn from publishing to a very special type of teaching - teaching your business colleagues nationwide that literacy is crucial to our workforce and to our economy."
During his years as CEO between 1975 and 1983, Mr. McGraw spearheaded the company's increasing use of technology. He foresaw new growth opportunities by providing more timely information and innovative services. McGraw-Hill's books and magazines were produced more effectively with the latest technology, and the company acquired additional businesses to enhance its information creation and distribution.
Mr. McGraw always believed that the quality and content of the message, rather than the mode of delivery, were most important. "Although the medium might change," he said, "content always must be determined by the same standards - it has to be accurate, objective, authoritative, comprehensive, current, and reliable."
Those high standards, in addition to new technology and innovation in the financial services industry, helped propel the growth of Standard & Poor's during Mr. McGraw's time as CEO. Investors increasingly sought out S&P's credit ratings, indices and data-based products, and in 1983, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange began trading futures on the S&P 500.
With offices in 23 countries today, S&P has become the premier global provider of independent credit ratings, market indices, investment research, financial data and fixed income research and analysis.