Georges F Doriot
George F. Doriot, April 4, 1958. Yousuf Karsh, photographer. © Yousuf Karsh.  Baker Library, Harvard Business School. olvwork538390

In the latter half of the twentieth century , venture capital investment transformed groundbreaking technologies into sustainable enterprises and contributed to the growth of an American economy based on entrepreneurship and innovation. The story of modern venture capital is inextricably linked to Georges F. Doriot, an educator and a founder of the industry. During his 40-year tenure at Harvard Business School, the charismatic professor taught business and leadership in his celebrated Manufacturing course to nearly 7,000 students. He realized his dream of establishing the first Master of Business Administration program in Europe by helping establish the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires. Doriot learned the art of bringing science and industry together in World War II, where he was responsible for the creation of new products for the welfare of US soldiers. For decades, as president of American Research & Development Corporation (ARD), an early venture capital firm founded in 1946, Doriot fostered the development of startup companies that focused on emerging technologies from computers to pacemakers. The Georges F. Doriot Collection, on permanent loan to Baker Library from the French Cultural Center, Boston, reveals the ideas and ideals of a man who played a pioneering role in the emergence of the postwar entrepreneurial economy.