ATLANTA–Michael H. Mescon, dean emeritus of Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business and founder and inaugural holder of the world’s first chair in private enterprise, died November 12. He was 86.
Mescon joined Georgia State in 1956, as an assistant professor of managerial sciences making $5,600 a year. “I thought I’d been handed the keys to Fort Knox,” he said in a 2013 interview with Georgia State.
Seven years later, Mescon, having risen to department chairman, created what would become the Bernard B. and Eugenia A. Ramsey Chair of Private Enterprise, now housed in the Department of Economics at Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
In 1985 Mescon was appointed dean, a position he held until his retirement in 1990. Under his leadership, the college hired its first African-American faculty member, Harding Young.
After his retirement, Mescon taught policy leadership in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
A prolific writer, Mescon was author or co-author of more than 300 articles and books, including Business Today, recognized with the McGuffey Award in 2002 as the most successful introductory business textbook in the U.S., and the best-selling Management: Individual and Organization Effectiveness. He was named Georgia author of the year for Showing up for Work and Other Keys to Business Success.
Mescon founded an organization design consulting firm, the Mescon Group, in 1968, which merged in 2001 with Habif, Arogeti & Wynne (now Aprio).
Named the “pied piper of private enterprise” by The Wall Street Journal, Mescon received numerous awards and honors including the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Award of Excellence (twice), the Georgia Council on Economic Education’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Freedom Award and honorary doctorates from the College of Charleston and The Citadel.
Mescon held a Ph.D. from New York University, and undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Miami. He is survived by his wife, Enid, sons, Jed and Tim, and was predeceased by his daughter, Nance.