Academic journal article The Accounting Historians Journal

In Memoriam: S. Paul Garner: Accountancy's Ambassador to the World

Academic journal article The Accounting Historians Journal

In Memoriam: S. Paul Garner: Accountancy's Ambassador to the World

Article excerpt

Abstract. Samuel Paul Garner spent nearly seven decades, as a student, professor, administrator, leader and visionary, enhancing the understanding and development of our academic community. Born in 1910, he studied at Duke University, then briefly as a non degree student at Columbia before teaching and then entering the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Austin. At Texas, under the direction of George Hillis Newlove, he focused upon accounting. His interest in history had been kindled by a noted economic historian Earl J. Hamilton, under whom Garner had studied at Duke. His first post doctoral appointment would be his lifelong assignment, as a member of the faculty of what is now the Culverhouse School of Accountancy at the University of Alabama. Starting in 1939 he served as a faculty member, next as department chair, and then for seventeen years, from 1954 to 1971, as dean of the College of Business. His career achievements are many and include being the only person to serve as President of both the American Accounting Association [1951] and the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business [1964-65]. His post-retirement activities identified with the quarter century from 1971 through 1996 permitted members of subsequent generations to benefit from his knowledge and counsel. Garner's work as a scholar, a historian, an institutional developer and a visionary-especially in the area of international relations, are told in this paper. A special appendix, which contains the last known curriculum vita prepared by Garner, is also provided.

Si Monumentum - Requires Circumspice/If You Seek His Monument, Look Around You.

Paul Garner died October 16, 1996, at the age of 86. In this paper, we present some of his many achievements. However, this is but a "glimpse" of the accomplishments of this remarkable human being. Paul was perhaps the last of the leaders of an age when the academic and professional community were driven to new levels of size and activity during the economic expansion of the post World War II period. Garner worked with and knew well the individuals who comprise a list of Accounting Hall of Fame members, including William Paton, Carman Blough, Eric Kohler and David Solomons. His involvements spanned the six decades following his doctoral work at the University of Texas, which was completed in 1940. Although he "retired" in 1971, he enjoyed good health most all of his life, and he remained a presence in events, including the Accounting Historians Seventh World Congress in Kingston, Ontario in August 1996 and being in attendance at research seminars and Ph.D. student presentations until shortly before the brief hospitalization which preceded his death.

This paper is presented in six sections. The first provides a biographical review, followed by a section which profiles Garner's view of scholarship. The third and fourth sections consider his research and institutional contributions. The final two sections address his international activities and role and his legacy of wisdom. An appendix is also provided which reproduces curriculum vita, believed to the last one completed by Gamer. It contains many details which are beyond the scope of the text of this paper.


Paul Garner was born August 15, 1910, in Yadkinville, North Carolina to a family of moderate means, a factor that proved repeatedly important in shaping his life. He was the oldest of seven children and fond of telling stories about these times and the lengthy walks required to get to school, or to anywhere for that matter. His younger brother Thad, [who died in 1997], with whom Paul was very close, and advised, became a local business legend in the Carolinas for making "Texas Pete Hot Sauce" which is one of the best selling products of is kind in the nation.

Garner did undergraduate study in the field of economics at Duke University where he had earned a scholarship. He tutored football players, waited tables and worked in the library and during the summer, drove a cab for his father who owned a taxi business, so as to pay part of the cost of his college education. …

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