James MacGregor Burns was a Massachusetts man for much of his 95 years. He was born in Melrose and died in Williamstown. His death was announced Tuesday.
His name might not be well-known, but plenty of well-known people in positions of power and leadership knew his work, because Burns popularized a new way to study and understand leaders and leadership, particularly in Washington.
He served as a quiet adviser to presidents and ran for political office, but his work set the standard for objectivity.
Barbara Kellerman, author of many books on leadership and history and is the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
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