Back Library of America remembers former Board Chair D. Ronald Daniel, 1930–2023
D. Ronald Daniel

D. Ronald Daniel and LOA President and Publisher Max Rudin in 2007

The trustees and staff of Library of America are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend, devoted Trustee, and former longtime Board Chair D. Ronald Daniel, who died at his home in New York City on December 16. He was ninety-three.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1930, Daniel graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he joined McKinsey & Company, eventually becoming the firm’s Global Managing Partner before stepping aside in 1988.

Daniel went on to serve as Treasurer of Harvard University and as a member of the then seven-person Harvard Corporation. He was a member of the university’s Board of Overseers, Chairman of the Harvard Management Company, and Chairman of the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School.

He left those positions in 2004 and the following year joined Library of America’s board. Two years later, he became Board Chair, succeeding LOA founder Richard Poirier.

For LOA President and Publisher Max Rudin, “Ron Daniel was the key figure in the transition of Library of America’s Board of Trustees from a small founding group to the current partnership of distinguished writers, scholars, and cultural and business leaders. Ron’s energy, steady counsel, and generosity guided and sustained the organization, and he was deeply committed to our mission to keep great American writing alive in the culture. We are profoundly grateful to him, and he will be greatly missed.”

LOA President Emerita Cheryl Hurley recalls that Daniel’s zeal on behalf of Library of America was evident from the start: “Few people were more influential or dedicated to the Library of America than Ron Daniel. Friend, patron, adviser, and leader, he saw before many others that LOA’s unique mission to publish and promote American writing made it a vital cultural institution. He was also a decent, kind, and wonderful person.”

In addition to his leadership on the board, Daniel and his wife, Lise Scott, were generous supporters of LOA’s publishing program, permanently endowing volumes in the LOA series through gifts to the Guardians of American Letters Fund.

Characteristic of Daniel’s legacy of commitment and service is the great kindness of his final request that gifts in his memory be made to Library of America.

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From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.

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