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    Abraham J. Briloff 1917 - 2013
    memorial posted January 9, 2014 by Deirdre Harris, last edited January 9, 2014, tagged 2013, memorial 
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    Abraham J. Briloff 1917 - 2013
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    It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of a dear friend and wonderful colleague and scholar, Professor Abraham J. Briloff. Abe was 96 years young and continued his scholarly activities – writing and conference presentations -- throughout 2013.

    Professor George Foster at Stanford University termed Abe as the most important accountant in the World. This was no exaggeration: Abe’s contributions to Barron’s changed the practices of auditing and accounting.  Professor Foster also referred to Abe – affectingly -- as “Rambo”. The grain of truth in this appellation refers to the courageous and tenacious manner in which Abe pursued ‘truth in accounting’. 

    Abe’s outstanding contributions were all-the-more significant by the fact that Abe had been clinically blind for most of his life. Gifted with a photographic memory he relied on Baruch students, and later, his daughter, Leonore, to read financial documents to him. Leonore, who is a New York CPA, subsequently co-authored several articles with Abe.

    Abe’s writings were prodigious and influential, including four books: Effectiveness of Accounting Communication; Unaccountable Accounting; More Debits Than Credits: The Burnt Investors' Guide to Financial Statements; and The Truth About Corporate Accounting.

    Abe was a frequently visitor to Washington, testifying before the Moss and Metcalf Committees in the 1970s and more recently the Sarbanes Oxley Congressional Investigation of 2002.

    Abe’s alma mater is Baruch College at the City University of New York. In his frequent presentations at the College he repeatedly expressed his infinite gratitude to the College for providing him with a (free) first rate accounting education. Every presentation began by recalling his indebtedness to the College, and to his legendary mentor, Professor Emanuel Saxe.

    Abe earned a BBA and an MSEd from the then City College (predecessor of Baruch College) in 1937 and 1941 Abe joined Baruch’s accountancy faculty. Abe earned his doctorate in accountancy and taxation from NYU in 1965. He was named the Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Professor of Accountancy at Baruch College in 1976, a title that appended with "emeritus" an insignia that he held for the remainder of his life.

    Abe’s demise is a great loss to the Profession and the Academic Community. As editors, we have always recognized Abe’s writing and teachings over the years; that they retain a resonance with today’s issues, debates and (Abe would never shrink from the terms) “controversies and scandals”. In this spirit, we will continue our practice of reprinting sections of Abe’s books and articles—ensuring that Abe’s legacy will endure long after his untimely demise.

    Our sympathies are extended to Abe’s whole family, notably Leonore A. Briloff and Alice Ebenstein.

    Submitted by:

    Professor Anthony Tinker, Baruch College at the City University of New York

    Professor Aida Sy, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York