KAY, Alan Francis, Ph.D. (Harvard, 1951), passed away in his 91st year on August 17, 2016 in Saint Augustine, FL. He is survived by his loving spouse and partner of 28 years, author, futurist Hazel Henderson; his four sons: Joshua, Roger, Benjamin and Max; his grandchildren: Jeremy, Melissa, Addison and Faith; his great-grandson Willem and great-granddaughter Catherine. Alan F. Kay was born in South Orange, New Jersey. He served as Honorary Chair of the Ethical Markets Media's Advisory Board since 2013, after helping found the company in 2004 with untiring encouragement and support to Hazel Henderson, CEO, Founder and Editor-in-Chief. |
Dr. Kay is best known for founding AutEX, the first computerized trading platform on Wall Street which specialized in block trading. Before the Internet, Dr. Kay created his own innovative and first electronic platform in 1960. He became a critic of Wall Street's use of computers in high-frequency and algorithmic trading, financial "engineering" and derivatives (Calling Wall Street To Account, 2011). Dr. Kay was a US Army soldier in World War II during General MacArthur's occupation of Japan, as an interpreter. A PhD mathematician, Dr. Kay was a technology innovator of the scalar feed at Arecibo Observatory's radio telescope in Puerto Rico, and held several patents as an engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, business executive, investor, author, public policy expert, and finally, through all these experiences: a social innovator. Dr. Kay invented the field of public interest opinion research and was a pioneer investor in socially responsible and solar energy businesses with his partner, Henderson.
As a WWII draftee in the US Army (1943-1946), Dr. Kay spent seven months in Tokyo as a Japanese language interpreter in occupied Japan (1946). Dr. Kay co-founded two public companies: TRG, a research and development company (1954-63), and in 1966, AutEx, supplier of electronic "market" systems to industry, the first B2B e-commerce company including pre-Internet email. In 1978, after selling AutEx (now owned by Thomson Reuters), Dr. Kay awakened to the sad state of politics and governance. He was a sponsor of Professor Jay Forrester's Systems Dynamics Model at MIT's Sloan School (1977-79). He became a donor to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Emily's List, Common Cause and many environmental groups including Green Seal. He served as board member of the Center for Defense Information, WAND, and Business Executives for National Security, a Commissioner of the Global Commission to Fund the UN (Report, 1995), organizations opposed to nuclear weapons, and supported peace groups and many progressive policy organizations. Dr Kay was an investor and advisor to start-up companies pioneering energy efficiency and pollution control technologies. He was an early sports writer for the Boston Globe and Boston Herald (1947-48).
In 1987, he established the art and science of public-interest polling. He is author of "Locating Consensus for Democracy - a Ten Year US Experiment" (2000), "Spot the Spin: the Fun Way to Keep Democracy Alive and Elections Honest" (2004), and numerous articles on business, government and military topics, focusing on developing and supporting major social innovations. His writings are available in their original form at www.alanfkay.com and www.publicinterestpolling.com and and can be accessed from his memorial website alan-f-kay.forevermissed.com.
Dr. Kay's memoir Militarist Millionaire Peacenik: Memoir of a Serial Entrepreneur was published in 2008 by Cosimo Books, New York. He co-authored with Col. Dan Smith (deceased) Eliminating War! (2009), writing that "the central purpose of this book, often omitted among the enormous numbers of good books available on war, is to offer proposals that make a tight, comprehensive presentation of specific ways that ultimately could eliminate war." Eliminating War! is free and downloadable at EthicalMarkets.comand on his memorial website alan-f-kay.forevermissed.com.
Alan F. Kay will be sorely missed by his family members, many friends and admirers, and his colleagues at Ethical Markets Media, a Certified B Corporation (a model he advocated for socially responsible investors). As befits an internet and computer pioneer, a memorial celebration of Alan Kay's life and achievements is online, inviting posts and bloggers at alan-f-kay.forevermissed.com. In lieu of flowers, please post your remembrances, photographs and appreciation for this wonderful man and his life so well lived. Craig Funeral Home (www.craigunderalhome.com) is assisting the family.
Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 19, 2016