REMEMBERING SIDNEY HARMAN (1918–2011)

sidney_harman_commencement_200944th Commencement Keynote Speaker

Sidney Harman (’39)
came to City College’s 23rd
Street campus (later Baruch
College) during the Great
Depression. He studied
business but also devoured
arts and humanities courses.
The Harman Writer-in-
Residence Program was an
incarnation of his belief that
“writing is thinking.”

Dr. Harman urged leaders to be innovative, calling for “poet managers” who could distill wisdom from the past and move forward boldly into the future. He himself was the quint-essential poet manager.

A high-fidelity industry pioneer, Dr. Harman founded Harman/Kardon in 1953, growing the company into Harman International Industries. From 1970 to 1973, he was the president of Friends World College, an experimental Quaker institution. He founded the Program on Technology, Public Policy and Human Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Dr. Harman was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Baruch in 2009, the 50th anniversary of his graduation.

At USC, Dr. Harman was the Judge Widney Professor of Business and was appointed a Presidential Professor in 2010. He was instrumental in the 2007 creation of a new cultural center in Washington, DC, named Sidney Harman Hall in his honor.

Dr. Harman served as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was a member of the executive committee of the board of trustees at the Aspen Institute.

As an author, Dr. Harman published Starting
With the People, with Daniel Yankelovich, in 1988
and Mind Your Own Business in 2003.

In the last year of his life, Dr. Harman turned to journalism, acquiring Newsweek and merging it with The Daily Beast, a web publication. It was a bold move that he hoped would result in the “renewal and reinvention of media.” Looking forward, he said: “It may well lead the revolution.”

The Sidney Harman-Writer-in-Residence Program at Baruch College is funded by The Harman Family Foundation, Dr. Barbara Harman, Executive Director.

I celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Harman Writer-in-Residence program. I regard it as the single most creative impulse in my life and I do so because the arts should not be treated as decoration, as some extra-curricular activity. They should be intrinsic and organic in the developing life of a creative business person. That is what our Writer-in-Residence program encourages.”
                  — Sidney Harman

Links to other pages about Sidney Harman on the web:

The City University of New York