Warren G. Bennis, former University of Cincinnati president, dies at 89

Warren G. Bennis, former University of Cincinnati president and scholar, died Friday at the age of 89.

"Warren Bennis played a chief role in the University of Cincinnati becoming a part of the state of Ohio's university system and creating the platform for UC's strength and standing today. He has also made a tremendous impact in the field of leadership and influenced countless executives across the nation. On behalf of the UC community, I want offer our condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones," President Santa Ono wrote in a statement on UC’s website.

Bennis served as the university’s president from 1971 to 1977. He followed Walter C. Langsam. Henry R. Winkler became UC’s president after Bennis left.

During his time as president, Bennis was "vital in the effort that led to the university becoming a part of the University System of Ohio on July 1, 1977," according to UC. 

Before that date UC had mostly been a municipal school. In honor of his work, and influence on the university, Bennis received an honorary doctorate from the school in 2007.

At that time, the former university president was recognized for his energy and leadership by which the university “made the difficult but necessary transition from municipal university to state university,” the recommendation letter for his honor stated. “Dr. Bennis went to great lengths to reach out to all sectors of the community, to build understanding and tolerance among many diverse points of view,” the recommendation continued.

In an obituary that appeared in the New York Times , the newspaper reports Bennis wrote more than 30 books, mainly focusing on leadership.

Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Regan all relied on Bennis for advice, according to the Times.

He served in World War II, earning both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. After the war he graduated with a bachelors degree from Antioch College in Ohio.

Bennis lived in Santa Monica, California and was a professor of business administration at the University of Southern California.

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