Haas Alumnus and Donor Harold Furst, MBA 45


Harold Furst, BS 39 (Econ.), MBA 45, a Bay Area businessman, philanthropist, and adviser to the late rock promoter Bill Graham, passed away June 28 in Oakland. He was 94.

After earning his undergraduate degree and MBA at UC Berkeley, Furst served on the university’s business school faculty from 1943 to 1952. Furst was Bank of America’s first economist and went on to work for BofA for more than 20 years. In 1972, he became president of Gerson Bakar & Associates, a San Francisco real estate firm founded by Haas alumnus Gerson Bakar, BS 48.

Furst became a business adviser to the late Bill Graham, then a young rock music promoter, in 1975, instilling order to Graham’s enterprise, establishing new accounting procedures, and recognizing the profit potential from band merchandise. In 1989 a generous gift from Furst enabled the Haas School to establish the only rotating chair for an outstanding junior faculty member, the Harold Furst Chair in Management Philosophy and Values.

Furst served a long list of organizations, including the California Public Utilities Commission; UC Berkeley Art Museum; and Gov. Edmund G. Brown’s Business Advisory Council, which he served as secretary. Furst is survived by his wife, Alice Coopersmith Furst; a son and three stepchildren; and five grandchildren.


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