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Larson, Henrietta Melia (1894–1983) - Business History

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Henrietta Melia Larson was born on September 24, 1894, in Ostrander, Minnesota, to Hans Olaf Larson, a businessman, and Karen Marie (Nordgaarden) Larson. She graduated with a B.A. in 1918, taught high school for one year at Wheaton, Minnesota, then became an instructor from 1921 to 1922 at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. From 1922 to 1924 she pursued graduate study at the University of Minnesota. She taught from 1925 to 1926 at Bethany College, in Lindsborg, Kansas, and from 1926 to 1928 at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. In 1926 she received a Ph.D. from Columbia University and published The Wheat Market and the Farmer in Minnesota, 1858–1900 . She was an associate in research at Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration from 1928 to 1939; assistant professor from 1939 to 1942; associate professor from 1942 to 1960 (the first woman to be so named), and professor of business history from 1960 to 1961.

In 1936 Larson wrote Jay Cooke, Private Banker with N.S.B. Gras as part of the Harvard Studies in Business History; it became a classic in its field. The two compiled Casebook in American Business History in 1939, which consisted of forty-three studies of individual men and companies from the Colonial period to the twentieth century. In 1938 she was editor of the Bulletin of the Business Historical Society . In 1943 she was given an honorary doctorate by St. Olaf, and in 1947 she and Gras were on the original board of directors of the Business History Foundation. Their first major project was a multivolume history of Standard Oil of New Jersey and a book on Humble Oil. Meanwhile, in 1948, she wrote Guide to Business History with Kenneth Wiggins Porter, a monumental work of annotated references to some 5,000 works. That same year she became associate editor of the Harvard Studies in Business History and became editor in 1950. In 1955 Gras died; Larson continued as director and senior author of History of Humble Oil and Refining Company with Evelyn H. Knowlton and Charles S. Popple (1959) and History of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), Vol. 3: New Horizons, 1927–1950 (1971), also with Knowlton and Popple. From 1965 to 1966 Henrietta Larson spent several months in Ahmedabad, India, as a Ford Foundation consultant of the Indian Institute of Management on a program in business history. She died on August 25, 1983.

Lasseter, John - Animator and producer, Career, Sidelights, Sources, Books [next] [back] Larson, Agnes Matilda (1892–1957) - Local History

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