Sunday, August 30, 2020

Anne Fleming: Business Historians Remember

[We have been speaking of Anne Fleming as a legal historian, but her grasp of the small-sum loan industry in City of Debtors was so impressive that business historians claimed her, too.  Here is the message Neil Rollings, President of the Business History Conference, acting on behalf of the BHC Trustees and Executive Committee, sent to members BHC members.]

It is with a sense of utmost shock and deep sadness that I write to inform you all that Anne Fleming passed away on Tuesday 25th August due to an embolism. I am sure that you will be as stunned by this awful news as I am. Anne has been an extremely willing and able servant to the BHC, currently as trustee and chair of the Electronic Media Oversight Committee. She also played a leading role in helping to revise the BHC bylaws. Recently, she had agreed to be a member of the BHC’s new anti-racism committee. In the short period of time I had worked with Anne, her selfless willingness to help, her legal eye for detail and her capacity to contribute efficiently and effectively shone through.

Her intellectual contributions to business history were outstanding, as she received the 2016 Herman E. Kroos Prize for the best dissertation in business history and followed this up by winning the 2019 Ralph Gomory Prize for her book City of Debtors: A Century of Fringe Finance (Harvard University Press, 2018). Her current research projects promised to confirm and enhance her academic reputation.

But perhaps her most lasting contribution will be her warmth, generosity and interest in others. She will leave a large hole in the business history community and had already made a lasting contribution to it. It is tragic that such a blossoming career has ended so early and so abruptly.

Here is a link to a legal history blog In memorium of Anne. Our thoughts are with all who knew her and our deepest condolences go to her family and friends at this time.