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Remembering Eli Shapiro

Professor Emeritus Eli Shapiro, 94; guided MIT Sloan in years after founding

Eli Shapiro imageEli Shapiro

Professor Emeritus Eli Shapiro, the bow-tie-bedecked economist who helped to develop MIT Sloan’s academic character, died December 4, 2010, after a short illness. He was 94.

Shapiro was professor of finance at MIT Sloan from 1952 until 1962, before leaving to teach at Harvard Business School. He returned to MIT Sloan in 1976 as the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Management, a position he held until his retirement in 1984.

MIT Sloan’s first associate dean, Shapiro was known for his finance-appropriate dictum, “Don’t forget the cash!” In addition to his work at MIT and Harvard, he taught at the University of Chicago, chaired the finance committee of the board of directors of Travelers Insurance Companies, and was president of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1982 until 1984.

Shapiro arrived at MIT Sloan just as it was being established as a new school of management (it had previously been known as Course XV at MIT). He would become the School’s first associate dean, as well as chairman of the Sloan Fellows executive education program.

“Professor Shapiro had an extraordinarily distinguished career,” said John C Head III Dean David Schmittlein. “More than anyone, he was instrumental in charting the future academic direction of the School in the 1950s.”

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