E. Leonard Arnoff

October 15, 1922 – November 3, 1991

Brief Biography


E. Leonard  Arnoff was the 15th President of TIMS. His career spanned all categories of involvement in Operations Research: professor, textbook writer, consultant, consulting firm innovator, academic administrator, and professional service contributor. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he graduated at the age of 15 from Glenville High School, famous at that time for successful alumni in business, politics, and even the creators of the comic book Superman. Choosing mathematics over law, he earned degrees at all levels in mathematics plus an additional masters in mechanical engineering.

Arnoff returned to college after completing his WWII service.  After receiving a PhD from the California Institute of Technology, his  career began in 1952 as a mathematician and aeronautical research scientist at a precursor of NASA. His first academic appointment followed in 1953 at the Case Institute of Technology, widely known as a seminal O.R. institution.  He was Chair for the first PhD degree granted in O.R. at Case.

Arnoff  was co-author with C. West Churchman and Russell Ackoff of the first comprehensive text in O.R., An Introduction to Operations Research.  This  text resulted from a series of novel executive education short courses at Case for professionals.  The book, published in 1957 has affectionately been referred to as the “Big Red Book” by many of those who encountered it. Len was a delegate at the First International Conference in Operational Research that was held in Oxford, England, 1957. He was the driving force behind the creation of the management science consulting group at Ernst and Ernst and directed the group during much of his time there, which was from 1961-1983. In 1983 Len became Dean at the College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. He promoted the integration of new computer technologies into all aspects of business education and research.

Arnoff served as the 1968-69 president of TIMS. He was a departmental editor of Management Science from 1955-70, and was on advisory committees for the Weatherhead School of Management at Case from 1979-82. Between 1980 and 1985 he was vice-president/president-elect, president, and past president of the Omega Rho honorary society. Len was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He was chosen as one of 43 early pioneers, practitioners, and developers of the O.R. field to have a chapter devoted to his life in Profiles in Operations Research.

He had a distinguished military career in the U.S. Army, earning the Bronze Star medal for bravery, and the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters for three injuries during his service in Germany and the Battle of the Bulge. During his career he was active in civic life in such organizations as Camp Fire U.S., the U.S. Figure Skating, a Task Force on Child Abus and Neglect, United Way, and community associations.  He was an ardent fisherman, often fishing the northern waters of Canada, and was fluent in French.

Arnoff died of renal carcinoma at his home in Blue Ash, Ohio on November 3, 1991.  To honor him, the E. Leonard Arnoff Memorial Lecture on the Practice of Management Science, was established in 1992 at the instigation of Eugene Woolsey. 

The lecture series annually attracts top speakers in Operations Research and Management Science to the University of Cincinnati.

Other Biographies

Profiles in Operations Research: E. Leonard Arnoff
INFORMS Members may access this book for free by logging in.
For more information about this title and many other Springer publications in Operations Research, please click here.


Western Reserve University BS 1943

Case Institute of Technology MS 1948

California Institute of Technology, PhD 1952 (Mathematics Genealogy


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • U. S. Army
  • Lewis Flight-Propulsion Laboratory
  • Ernst and Ernst 

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas

Awards and Honors

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Professional Service

The Institute of the Management Sciences, President (1968-1969)