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Joel A. Kurtzman


1947 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Joel A. Kurtzman Obituary
June 25, 1947 - April 6, 2016 Joel Allen Kurtzman, 68, of Concord, MA passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at his residence with his loving family by his side. He was the beloved husband of Karen (Smith) Warner. Born in Los Angeles on June 25, 1947 he was the son of the late Samuel and Roselle (Rosencranz) Kurtzman.  Joel was an accomplished economist, consultant, author, publisher and educator. He was the founder and guiding force behind several respected publications including Strategy + Business, the Milken Institute Review, and Briefings, a quarterly magazine published by the Korn Ferry Institute. He was a Senior Fellow at the Milken Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank.  Joel was Editor-in Chief of the Harvard Business Review and a member of the editorial board of Harvard Business School Publishing. He was also a business editor and columnist with The New York Times. Best known for his work on the intersection between economics and business, Kurtzman authored, co-authored or edited over 20 books and hundreds of general and scholarly articles. The ultimate thought leader, Joel actually coined the term "thought leader" and made it part of the business lexicon.  His widely cited book "The Death of Money" was made into television documentaries in the U.S. (PBS) and in Japan (NHK). His last book, the highly-praised "Unleashing the Second American Century: Four Forces for Economic Dominance" was published in 2014. Before forming the Kurtzman Group, Joel was Global Lead Partner for Thought Leadership and Innovation at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Earlier in his career, Kurtzman was an international economist at the United Nations where he was deputy director of the U.N.'s Project on the Future. In 2000, he was awarded India's 16th Annual Global Indira Gandhi Prize for his work in Thought Leadership. Joel graduated from the University of California, Berkeley earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and later graduated from University of Houston-Clear Lake with a Master's Degree in Future Studies. Insatiably curious about the world and visionary in his thinking about global concepts and trends, Joel enjoyed writing fiction, analyzing political and economic ideas and discussing world-shaking events. He also enjoyed spending time with his family, travel, and gatherings with his cherished friends. He was a man of grace and kindness who left people feeling better and more fulfilled having known him.  Along with his wife, he is survived by his son Eli Kurtzman (Maria Gill) of West Yarmouth, MA, his step-daughter Katherine Molek (Timothy Molek) of San Diego, his former wife, Susan Kurtzman of Cape Cod, MA and his sister, Kaaren Kurtzman of Santa Monica.  Family and friends gathered to honor and remember Joel on Monday, April 11 in Concord, MA.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Apr. 9 to Apr. 16, 2016
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