John Campbell (Sandy) Burton was born on September 17, 1932, in New York City. He died in New York City on May 16, 2010, after a wonderfully diverse accounting career. He took full advantage of his position as an independent academic, and as the Chief Accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to state his support for the profession—and to exhort the profession to a higher level of service. His speeches and writings emphasize a number of challenging themes, including:

He gave a speech one time that characterized the SEC as a grain of sand in the oyster, the oyster being the accounting profession (Burton 1982). But his speeches and writings, and the decisions he made while Chief Accountant at the SEC, demonstrated that he, personally, was that grain of sand. The profession is a richer, better place as a result of his leadership.

During his school...

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