Max De Pree

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Max De Pree (born 28 October 1924) is businessman and American writer. A son of D.J. De Pree, founder of Herman Miller office furniture company, he and his brother Hugh De Pree assumed leadership of the company in the early 1960s, Hugh becoming CEO and president in 1962. Max succeeded his brother Hugh as CEO in 1980 and served in that capacity to 1987, and he was a member of the company's Board of Directors until 1995.[1] His book Leadership is an Art has sold more than 800,000 copies. In 1992, De Pree was inducted into Junior Achievement's U.S. Business Hall of Fame. He has been involved with the Max De Pree Center for Leadership (established in 1996 as the De Pree Center) since its establishment.


He studied at Wheaton College but was interrupted by World War II. He served on the European Theatre of Operations. Still in the Army, he studied at the University of Pittsburgh, Haverford College and the University of Paris. After his military service he attended Hope College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948.[2]


  • Leadership is an Art ; Michigan State University Press (1987) ; ISBN 0-385-51246-5
  • Leadership Jazz ; Dell Publishing (1993) ; ISBN 0-440-50518-6
  • Dear Zoe ; Harper Collins (1996) ; ISBN 0-8028-4592-4
  • Called to Serve: Creating and Nurturing the Effective Volunteer Board ; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (2001) ; ISBN 0-8028-4922-9
  • Leading Without Power: Finding Hope in Serving Community ; John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd. (2003) ; ISBN 0-7879-6743-2


  1. ^ Company Timeline on Herman Miller Company website
  2. ^ Max DePree Biography on Hope College website

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