Harold W. McGraw, Jr., Chairman Emeritus and Former CEO, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Died at His Home This Morning
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Among the authors and scholars who were published by McGraw-Hill during Mr. McGraw's tenure were Paul Samuelson, Heinrich Boll, Vladimir Nabokov, Marshall McLuhan and Robert Solow.
As a business leader, Mr. McGraw clearly set his company on a growth path that today has made it a world leader in education, financial services and business information. As a philanthropist, he helped set many individuals on a growth path that significantly enhanced their lives.
Among his many business accomplishments, Mr. McGraw was well known as both the stalwart leader who successfully defended McGraw-Hill against a hostile takeover attempt by American Express in 1979, and then went on to generate record growth and far greater value for shareholders by remaining independent.
One of the severest critics of his determination to resist American Express was the investor-focused publication Barron's, which in 1979 suggested that "McGraw-Hill stockholders are getting a raw deal." Ten years later, Barron's columnist Robert M. Bleiberg acknowledged that "we owe Harold W. McGraw, Jr. a forthright (and belated) retraction," adding: "Harold McGraw - at least by a number of tried and true investment yardsticks - in retrospect clearly did the right thing."
Mr. McGraw was deeply involved in meeting the challenges of national literacy and education. He contributed to numerous literacy organizations and encouraged involvement of employees and retirees by providing a number of grants to those who became active in literacy programs around the country.
In 1983, he established the widely acclaimed Business Council for Effective Literacy, an organization that rallied major American corporations in the fight against illiteracy. The following year, he founded the Business Press Educational Foundation, which gives business journalism students a broad range of educational materials and opportunities, including editorial internships. He personally provided all the funding for these organizations during their early years and built organizations to staff them.