Widgets Magazine

Leading accounting educator Horngren dies

Charles T. Horngren, the Edmund W. Littlefield professor of accounting, emeritus in the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) died Oct. 23 in Palo Alto.

A pioneer of management accounting, Horngren was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame in 1990. He led the shift in accounting education in the 1960s from an emphasis on accumulation and calculation of product costs to managerial accounting, wrote Thomas Burns, Ohio State University professor and chairman of the Accounting Hall of Fame, at the time of Horngren’s induction.

Horngren received his MBA from Harvard Business School and was valedictorian of his undergraduate class at Marquette University. He also served in the U.S. Army and tutored homebound, disabled veterans during his undergraduate years.

Horngren completed his doctorate at the University of Chicago in only three years, while teaching full time. He then taught at Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Chicago before being recruited to Stanford in 1966.

Horngren served on the Accounting Principles Board from 1968 to 1973. He also served as a trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation from 1984 to 1989 and was both president and director of research for the American Accounting Association. His textbook, “Cost Accounting: A Managerial Emphasis,” is currently in its 14th edition.

Horngren died just days before his 85th birthday after a long illness. He is survived by four children: son Scott and his wife, Yone McNally, of Portland, Ore., daughter Mary and husband Dennis Wilson, daughters Susan and Catherine, all of the Bay Area, and grandchildren Erik Horngren and Chelsea and Marissa Frost.

Horngren established the Joan E. Horngren professorship of accounting at the GSB, in addition to the Horngren Family Vitreoretinal Center at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University and the Horngren Family Alzheimer’s Research Fund in the Stanford School of Medicine.

– Margaret Rawson