LOS ANGELES -- Peter F. Drucker, revered as the father of modern management for his numerous books and articles stressing innovation, entrepreneurship and strategies for dealing with a changing world, died Friday. He was 95.
Drucker died of natural causes at his home in Claremont, east of Los Angeles, said Bryan Schneider, a spokesman for Claremont Graduate University, where Drucker taught.
"He is purely and simply the most important developer of effective management and of effective public policy in the 20th century," former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Friday. "In the more than 30 years that I've studied him, talked with him and learned from him, he has been invaluable and irreplaceable."
Drucker was considered a management visionary for his recognition that dedicated employees are key to the success of any corporation, and that marketing and innovation should come before worries about finances.
His ability to explain his principles in plain language helped them resonate with ordinary managers, said former Intel Corp. Chairman Andy Grove.
"Consequently, simple statements from him have influenced untold numbers of daily actions. They did mine over decades," Grove said.
Drucker championed concepts such as management by objective and decentralization, and his motivational techniques have been used by executives at some of the biggest companies in corporate America, including Intel and Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Business Week magazine hailed him as "the most enduring management thinker of our time," and Forbes magazine featured him on a 1997 cover under the headline: "Still the Youngest Mind." President Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.
In the early 1940s, Drucker was invited to study General Motors' inner workings, an experience that led to his 1946 management book, "Concept of the Corporation." He went on to write more than 30 books and start a foundation for non-profit management.
"He's very much an intellectual leader, and that's not common," said Harvard Business School professor D. Quinn Mills.
Drucker showed a knack for identifying sea changes in business and economics years in advance. He foresaw the emergence of a new type of worker whose occupation would be based on knowledge, not physical labor or management.
After the big stock market decline of October 1987, Drucker said he had expected it, "and not for economic reasons, but for aesthetic and moral reasons."