Obituary: Joseph Anthony Maciariello

Longtime Claremont Colleges professor, author, family man

Claremont resident Joseph Anthony Maciariello died peacefully on July 1st with his family by his side. He was 78 years old.

Joseph was born December 1, 1941 in Troy, New York, just six days prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor and our nation’s entrance into World War II. He was the proud son of immigrant parents Lorenzo and Raphael.

He was raised in Mechanicville, an upstate mill town on the Hudson River. Though while growing up his family was of modest means, they were rich in the love of a large extended family and a close-knit Italian community.

When he was 15 his father was taken from his family by an inherited condition that Joe later conquered with the help of a kidney transplant in 1993. He died as the longest living kidney transplant recipient in UCLA medical history. 

Despite the added responsibilities of leadership as the oldest of three brothers without a father, his love of learning and dedication to scholarship was ignited early and continued until his death at 78.

After graduating from Mechanicville High School he went on to Bryant College in Providence, Rhode Island, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1962 with a degree in business administration.

Following college he worked at Hamilton Standard, where he had the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to high profile projects, including the development of the portable life support system used by American astronauts during the first moon landing.

While maintaining a rigorous full time professional life during the early stages of his career, he continued his education at Union College in Schenectady, New York, earning a master of science degree in industrial administration in 1967. 

He then moved to New York City and began the arduous task of completing his PhD in economics at NYU, again while continuing to work full time. He earned his doctorate in 1973, having the honor of being advised on his dissertation by legendary economist William Baumol. 

During this period, at a Christmas party in 1969, his life was forever changed when he met his wife and partner for the next 50 years, Judy. They were married on August 9, 1970 and together built a home in Burnt Hills, New York while he taught at Union College. This was a happy time in their lives and they were blessed with two wonderful sons who have continued to bless them to this day. 

In 1979 the family packed up their station wagon and drove across the country to Claremont, where Mr. Marciariello had accepted a joint professorship at Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate School. He continued in this role for the next 25 years before moving to a full time position at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, a job he held until his retirement in 2013.

He had the privilege of working closely with Peter Drucker during the later stages of the legendary management thinker’s life and career. He was honored to have coauthored several books with him. Following Mr. Drucker’s death in 2005, Mr. Maciariello felt his calling was to expand his late colleague’s legacy, and taught and published extensively since then. His final book was completed on Memorial Day of this year, shortly prior to his passing. 

He was fortunate enough to have his work supported by several like-minded men who shared his love of management in the Drucker mold and supported him as he extended that legacy. These men—Bill Pollard, Bob Buford and Ming Lo Shao—were dear friends to him. Recently he was blessed to work with the Shao Foundation and the California Institute of Advanced Management, where he was honored with the creation of the Joseph A. Maciariello Institute of Management as a Liberal Art.

“Joe believed that effective management could lift individuals to perform at levels even above their innate ability and teams to perform in a manner far greater than the sum of their parts,” his family shared. “He was a strident believer that management should be taught broadly as a subject matter and that effective management and leadership was paramount to the creation of a functioning society.”

His family and work were his greatest earthly passions, in that order, right behind his love for Jesus Christ. Close behind these loves, however, came the New York Yankees and Notre Dame football.

Survivors include Judy, his loving wife; two sons, Patrick Anthony (Aleeza) of Laguna Hills, and Joseph Charles (Lauren) of Mill Valley; a brother, Lawrence; five wonderful grandchildren, Callie, Reese, Grace, Alice and Charlie; as well as many brilliant nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents and his younger brother Carmen.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made by mail to the Professor Joseph A. Maciariello Honorary Scholarship, University of Notre Dame, Gift Management, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, or at

“Joe was a gentleman of great character and possessed deep faith,” his family said. “To know him was to love him.”


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