Executive Briefings

Donald Bowersox, Pioneer in Logistics, SCM Education, Passes Away

Dr. Donald J. Bowersox, often referred to as the "grandfather of logistics", died July 4 at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Michigan, at the age of 78.

As a professor at Michigan State University, where he earned a doctorate in business administration, Bowersox was appointed the John H. McConnell University Professorship and served as dean of the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management. He was a pioneer in the study of logistics and was a co-author of the pioneer text in that field, in 1961, "Physical Distribution Management: Logistics Problems of the Firm." The book has been translated into 14 languages. In 2008 he co-authored "Start Pulling Your Chain."

He was a founding member and second president of the National Council of Physical Distribution Management in 1963, which later became the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Bowersox received the council's Distinguished Service and Founder's Award, a special commendation from the Society of Logistical Engineers for the publication of "Logistical Management" and, in 2005, the society's prestigious Armitage Medal for contribution to logistics literature.

He has been recognized by Michigan State University as a Distinguished Alumnus and University Distinguished Faculty Member. He was the initial recipient of the Broad School Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a recipient of the Harry E. Salzberg Honorary Medallion presented by Syracuse University.

Contributions may be made to the Dr. Donald J. Bowersox Endowed Chair in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Fund, 300 Spartan Way, East Lansing, MI 48824-1005.

Thoughts may be shared with the family through an online condolence.

Dr. Donald J. Bowersox, often referred to as the "grandfather of logistics", died July 4 at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Michigan, at the age of 78.

As a professor at Michigan State University, where he earned a doctorate in business administration, Bowersox was appointed the John H. McConnell University Professorship and served as dean of the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management. He was a pioneer in the study of logistics and was a co-author of the pioneer text in that field, in 1961, "Physical Distribution Management: Logistics Problems of the Firm." The book has been translated into 14 languages. In 2008 he co-authored "Start Pulling Your Chain."

He was a founding member and second president of the National Council of Physical Distribution Management in 1963, which later became the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Bowersox received the council's Distinguished Service and Founder's Award, a special commendation from the Society of Logistical Engineers for the publication of "Logistical Management" and, in 2005, the society's prestigious Armitage Medal for contribution to logistics literature.

He has been recognized by Michigan State University as a Distinguished Alumnus and University Distinguished Faculty Member. He was the initial recipient of the Broad School Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a recipient of the Harry E. Salzberg Honorary Medallion presented by Syracuse University.

Contributions may be made to the Dr. Donald J. Bowersox Endowed Chair in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Fund, 300 Spartan Way, East Lansing, MI 48824-1005.

Thoughts may be shared with the family through an online condolence.