He was a professor emeritus of Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Throughout his career, he had been known as a leading accounting scholar of international renown, a skilled mentor to fellow accounting scholars, and a dedicated teacher.
He was born in 1929 in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating high school, he enrolled in Washington University as a part time student. In 1950 he joined the Air Force, where he served as an electronics counter measures operator on a bomber crew.
His time in the Air Force convinced him of the importance of education. In January 1955 he enrolled in Indiana State University, where he majored in accounting and was an exceptional student. Following his graduation from Indiana State, he came to the University of Illinois in fall 1957 for graduate studies.
Upon completing his PhD in 1961, he joined the accounting faculty of the University of Chicago. In 1968 he became the editor of the University of Chicago’s Journal of Accounting Research. He held that position until 1983, when he joined the faculty of Olin Business School, but he remained as a co-editor for an additional 15 years. In his career with that journal, he was well regarded for his insistence on excellence and his willingness to work with aspiring researchers.
He was the recipient of the AICPA Outstanding Contribution to Accounting Literature Award in 1974 and 1982, the American Accounting Association’s Outstanding Educator Award in 1981, the Olin Dean’s Medal in 1994, the AAA’s Outstanding Auditing Educator Award in 1999, and a Distinguished Faculty Award from Washington University in 2004. He was named a distinguished alumnus by the University of Illinois in 1979, and he was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame in 2001, the year that he retired. In 2008 Olin Business School named its long-running accounting research conference in his honor.