Donald B. Straus

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Donald Blun Straus (June 28, 1916–September 3, 2007) was an American educator and an executive in public service. Straus, who held A.B. and M.B.A. degrees from Harvard University, served as President of the American Arbitration Association, Executive Vice President of the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, Chair of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Institute for Advanced Study.[1] An early advocate of online education and public referendums via computers and the Web, he taught an online course in "Democracy in the 21st Century" for Connected Education in the late-1980s and early-1990s. He served as Faculty Associate and was a Life Trustee at the College of the Atlantic in Maine.

Straus was born in Middletown, New Jersey, the son of Percy and Edith (Abraham) Straus. His paternal grandparents — Ida and Isidor Straus — died on the Titanic, allowing others to take their place on the lifeboats. Isidor was a co-founder of Macy's department store in New York City, and Percy — Donald's father — was President of the landmark New York store.[2] His maternal grandfather was retailing magnate Abraham Abraham.

Straus married Elizabeth Allen in 1940. They had three children. Straus died in Mount Desert, Maine.[3]


  1. ^ February 1, 2001 Lecture at Loka Institute by Donald B. Straus Archived November 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. - with bio details
  2. ^ Straus Historical Society Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Bangor Daily News, 4 September 2007. (link)