Harold W. McGraw, Jr., Chairman Emeritus and Former CEO, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Died at His Home This Morning
In 1988, The McGraw-Hill Companies, as part of the observance of its 100th anniversary, created the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education in his honor. Since then, a distinguished board of judges has presented three annual awards to individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge through education.
Announcing the formation of the education prize, Joseph L. Dionne, who succeeded Mr. McGraw as chairman of the McGraw-Hill board that year, said, "There is no greater, more generous friend to education and literacy than Harold McGraw. We honor and support his special, continuing commitment."
Additional philanthropic activities included Mr. McGraw's personal funding of a major renovation of the McGraw Rotunda at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, named in honor of his parents Harold and Louise McGraw. Other recipients of his generosity included the Children's Wing of his hometown library in Darien, Conn., the Reading Room in the Bunn Library of the Lawrenceville (N.J.) School, and several settlement houses on the West Side of Manhattan, including classrooms and a playground at Hartley House dedicated to his daughter, Suzanne McGraw, a teacher.
In 1998, Mr. McGraw made a donation to Princeton University, his alma mater, to endow The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Teaching and Learning, a state-of-the-art center featuring an electronic classroom, a multimedia resource laboratory, and an extensive library of print and electronic educational materials. Among other gifts given by Mr. McGraw to the school were funds for editing Albert Einstein's papers by Princeton University Press as well as the McGraw Distinguished Visiting Professors writing course.
Born in New York City on January 10, 1918, Mr. McGraw graduated from Princeton University in 1940. He served as a captain in the Army Air Corps in World War II and then worked in advertising and book retailing before joining McGraw-Hill as a sales representative in 1947.
He became executive vice president of the Book Enterprise in 1965 and its president in 1968, saying that those years were among the happiest of his professional life.