John H. McArthur, driving force behind creation of Partners, dies

John H. McArthur, a former dean of Harvard Business School in Boston and founding co-chair of Boston-based Partners HealthCare, died Aug. 20 at the age of 85.

Mr. McArthur, who was born in 1934 in Canada, joined Harvard Business School's MBA program in 1957, beginning a six-decade association with the business school. He served as a faculty member and became dean in 1980, serving 15 years, during which time endowed professorships rose from 50 to 81 and the annual budget for research and course development increased from $10 million to $50 million. He also launched Harvard Business School Press in 1984.

Mr. McArthur was also chair of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He played a major role in driving the hospital's merger with Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, which led to the creation of Partners HealthCare. Mr. McArthur was the founding co-chair of Partners.

He received several honors over the course of his career, including the Harvard Medal from Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard University. He was appointed officer of the Order of Canada in 2013.

Mr. McArthur is survived by his wife, two daughters, four grandchildren and his brother. A memorial service will be held Harvard University Oct. 30.

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