Peter Drucker
1909 - 2005

The father of management thinking. 


Inducted into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame, 2018.


Ranked #1 in 2003.

Previous positions:

#1 (2001). 


The Practice of Management was featured on the Thinkers50 Management Classics Booklist in 2022.


Having witnessed the catastrophic effects in Europe of the Great War, Depression, and subsequent rise of Nazism, Drucker was determined never to let society break down in the same way again. “These catastrophes broke through the everyday routine which makes men accept existing forms, institutions and tenets as unalterable laws,” Drucker wrote in The End of Economic Man, “They suddenly exposed the vacuum behind the façade of society.” “Performing, responsible management is the alternative to tyranny and our only protection against it.” 

Drucker’s 39 books and countless articles predicted many of the major developments of the late 20th century, including privatization and decentralization, the economic rise of Japan, the decisive importance of marketing and innovation, and the emergence of the information society with its necessity of lifelong learning.


When Thinkers50 announced the first ever ranking of management thinkers in 2001, there was only one name that could be #1. Drucker was justifiably ranked top of the second list too, in 2003. Born in Vienna, Austria, Drucker was introduced to influential intellectuals early on through soirees held by his parents. Freud and Schumpeter were among them. In 1932, he received his PhD in international law from Frankfurt University. In 1935, Drucker moved to the UK after his books were banned by the Nazis, then served as correspondent for the Financial Times in New York, where he also taught economics, later becoming a professor of philosophy and politics, then a professor of management at New York University, in 1950. He also began his formal consulting practice. The Claremont Graduate Center of Management, where he was the Marie Rankin Clarke professor of social science and management, was renamed the Peter F Drucker Management Center, in 1987.


The End of Economic Man (The John Day Company, 1939); Concept of the Corporation (The John Day Company, 1946); The Practice of Management (Harper & Brothers, 1954); The Landmarks of Tomorrow (Harper & Brothers, 1959); The Effective Executive (Harper & Row, 1967); The Age of Discontinuity (Harper & Row, 1969); Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (Harper & Row, 1973); Managing in Turbulent Times (Harper & Row, 1980); Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Harper & Row, 1985); Post-Capitalist Society (HarperCollins, 1993); Management Challenges for the 21st Century (Harper Business, 1999); The Essential Drucker (Harper Business, 2001); A Functioning Society (Transaction Publishers, 2002); The Daily Drucker (Harper Business, 2004). 

NATIONALITY: Austrian-American

Media picks


“The man who invented management.”

BusinessWeek magazine

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