Prolific insurance executive and author John (Jack) A. Bogardus Jr., 92, died June 28 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Bogardus’ entire business career was spent with Alexander & Alexander Services (A&A) where he helped take the company public in 1969. He subsequently served as president and CEO and ultimately, chairman.
Including time as a director of the company (1963-95), his career with A&A spanned 45 years. A&A became part of AON Corp. in 1996, creating the world’s largest insurance brokerage.
Bogardus served as a director of the Insurance Brokers Association of New York and a director and chairman of the governing committee of the National Association of Insurance Brokers. He was a member of the US Chamber of Commerce Insurance Committee; a board member of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and of the Insurance Institute of America. Bogardus also served on the boards of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc.; United States Surgical Corp.; and Security Capital Corp.
After retirement, Bogardus relied on decades of business experience to co-author Spreading the Risks: Insuring the American Experience. This seminal book details how the insurance industry evolved through disasters and economic transformations into the twenty-first century.
Bogardus spent 13 years researching and writing Spreading the Risks, published in 2003. It won a Washington Book Publishers' Award that year and in 2004 was named a Risk Management Book of the Year.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis called the book, “A paradoxical and fascinating story -- of how the boisterous energies of the marketplace were rendered safer, how risk-taking became more prudent, how the economic jungle was tamed."
In a 2005 interview, Bogardus said, “There was no single book that adequately covered the story of America's insurance agents and brokers. I thought, who is going to do this? Then, when I gained access to unpublished material, I realized if I didn't do it, it might never get done."
Bogardus is survived by his wife of 70 years, Lela. She and Bogardus met while he was serving in the Navy from 1945-47 and Lela was a figure skater performing with “Ice Capades.” They were married in Tulsa, Okla. in June 1950, days before his graduation from Princeton University.
Bogardus is also survived by their four children: John, Stephen, James and Janet, a sister, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Due to COVID-19, no memorial events are currently planned. Donations may be made in Bogardus’ memory to Alzheimer's Research Foundation or a favorite charity.