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In Memoriam: Roger Fisher

Roger Fisher, a Harvard Law School professor and co-author of the 1980s best-seller on how to negotiate titled Getting to Yes, passed away in recently at the age of 90.

Along with William Ury and Bruce Patton, he wrote Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In, in 1981. Since then, the book has been translated into 23 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide.

“Roger was an icon in the negotiation field,” said JAMS panelist Linda Singer, who worked with Roger over the years. “Through Getting to Yes, he brought worldwide attention to both the theory and practice of negotiation. We lost an icon in our field.”

Fisher was the founder and director emeritus of the Harvard Negotiation Project. He was an innovator in the theory, teaching and practice of negotiation and conflict resolution. Sometimes invited — and sometimes at his own initiative — Fisher advised government and military officials, rebels and independence movements, labor unions and corporations around the world on how to resolve their differences. He would urge disputing parties to focus on each other’s underlying interests, rather than their bargaining positions.

He will be missed.


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