Inspired by mother, Bacow decided he wasn’t done being a leader

Monday, May 22, 2023 - 14:02 in Psychology & Sociology

Life stories from Drew Faust, Annette Gordon-Reed, Steven Pinker, Paul Farmer, and many more, in the Experience series. Larry Bacow, Harvard’s 29th president, will step down at the end of June after five years on the job. Bacow’s well-honed leadership skills — he served on the Harvard Corporation, as president of Tufts University, and as chancellor at MIT — proved indispensable amid national polarization, public questioning of the role of higher education in society, and, most critically, the profound disruption of the pandemic. Bacow grew up in Pontiac, Michigan, the son of Jewish immigrants intimately familiar with the horrors of the Holocaust, and like his father, a lawyer, became an Eagle Scout. He built radios from kits, and spent hours reading about science and technology in Popular Science and Scientific American, laying the groundwork for his undergraduate education at MIT. Throughout his life, he has been deeply influenced by the experiences that led...

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