McGraw led the company, which was founded by his grandfather, between 1975 and 1983. McGraw's son, Harold “Terry” McGraw III, is the current chairman and president-CEO of McGraw-Hill.
”My father was a passionate and principled leader, who led McGraw-Hill with an educator's heart and an insistence that the underlying principles guiding the company since its founding in 1888—integrity, quality, value and excellence—would endure,” Terry McGraw said in a statement. “He was an inspiration to us all and deeply loved McGraw-Hill and its many contributions to society. He had a special affection for all employees and their commitment to the future and well-being of the company.”
McGraw-Hill said in a press release that the company's revenue doubled and earnings per share tripled under Harold W. McGraw Jr.'s watch. He fought off a hostile takeover from American Express in 1979.
In 1990, he received the Literacy Award from President George H.W. Bush in recognition of his commitment to education.
McGraw was born in New York on Jan. 10, 1918. He graduated from Princeton University in 1940 and served as a captain in the Army Air Corps in World War II.
"Harold was a remarkable man who was so very passionate about our industry," Gordon T. Hughes II, president-CEO of American Business Media, said in a statement. "Harold founded the Business Press Educational Foundation in 1984, which he ultimately moved into ABM for the sole purpose of raising the visibility of the business press at colleges and universities across the country. Harold was a strong supporter of ABM and always provided the association with both leadership and great ideas. All of us who knew Harold will miss him greatly."