Amherst College notes the passing of Life Trustee and Chair Emeritus George L. Shinn '45, P'85, G'07 on Dec. 16, 2013, in Scarborough, Maine. He was 90 years old.
An obituary ran on Dec. 17 in The New York Times.
Shinn became a member of the college's Board of Trustees in 1968 and was its chair from 1973 to 1980—the years during which Amherst began admitting female students.
Starting as a trainee in 1949, Shinn rose through the ranks of Merrill Lynch, the nation’s largest securities firm, to become its president and chief operating officer briefly in 1974. He went on to lead the First Boston Corporation (1975 to 1983); to direct The New York Times Co., the New York Stock Exchange and the New York Life Insurance Co., among other organizations; and to teach at Columbia University and Drew University. He served as a trustee for many other for-profit and nonprofit organizations in addition to Amherst.
Shinn was born in Ohio in 1923 and enrolled at Amherst on a scholarship in 1941. He joined the basketball and football teams and Psi Upsilon fraternity. World War II interrupted his college career—he served as a flight instructor and captain in the Marine Corps—but he returned to Amherst and graduated in 1948. He earned a doctorate of laws from Denison University in 1975 and a Ph.D. in English from Drew in 1992, at the age of 69. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Shinn's survivors include his children Andrew Shinn '85, Deborah Shinn, Amy Shinn, Martha Moore and Sarah Shinn Pratt; his daughter-in-law Margaret McKay Shinn '85; and five grandchildren. His granddaughter Nora Moore '07 died in 2004, while a student at Amherst, and his wife of 61 years, Mount Holyoke College alumna Clara LeBaron Sampson, passed away in 2010.
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