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Thomas K. McCraw: Harvard Business Prof, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian

Long-time town resident won Pulitzer for a narrative explaining regulations in business.

Thomas K. McCraw, a long-time Belmont resident who won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize in History for his narrative of how government regulation of industry affected the American economy, died this past Saturday, Nov. 3, in Cambridge.

The Rutledge Road resident, who taught for 31 years at the Harvard Business School until 2007, died after a long illness, according to his family who spoke to the New York Times.

McCraw was 72.

McCraw's "Prophets of Regulation," for which he won the Pulitzer, "remains a seminal study of the development of American economic regulation and a sterling example of biography-as-history," according to a tribute from the Harvard University Press, which last month published his latest book, "The Founders and Finance," that explained how two immigrants, Alexander Hamiliton and Albert Gallatin, brought then foreign concepts of finance to the new nation, leading to the development of a new and robust "American" economy. 

A critical review by Mark Krikorian of a Nov. 1 New York Times op-ed essay which McCraw wrote advising granting amnesty to all 12-million illegal immigrants in the US was published in The National Review on Nov. 3, the day McCraw died.

A native of Mississippi as was his wife, Susan, McCraw attended the University of Mississippi on a Naval ROTC scholarship. After service in the Navy, McCraw attended the University of Wisconsin where he received his M.A. and PhD in History. He taught at the University of Texas, Austin before coming to Boston to teach at the Business School in 1976.

McCraw is survived by his college sweetheart and wife, Susan, who he was married for 50 years, a daughter, Elizabeth McCarron; a son, Thomas Jr.; a brother, John; and three grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family will appreciate memorial donations to the Belmont Library Foundation, P.O.Box 125, Belmont, 02478.

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