Durham, N.C. — Ralph E. Kent, senior partner and chairman of Ernst & Young predecessor firm Arthur Young from 1965 to 1977, died on June 26 in Durham, N.C. He was 88.
Kent spent his entire professional career with Arthur Young in the New York office. He also served for 16 years on the consultant panel of the Comptroller General of the United States. He was president of the American Institute of CPAs — the title then used for the AICPA’s top-ranked volunteer — from 1968 to 1969 and a life member of the AICPA Council from then until his death.
Kent served as the first president of the Financial Accounting Foundation, the body that oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
He was active in many capacities at his alma mater, Ohio State University, including serving 15 years as a member of the governing board of the Ohio State University Foundation, as well as serving as president of the New York alumni club and chairman of the advisory council of the University’s College of Business. He was awarded the university’s Honorary Doctor of Humanities in 1978.
Kent, who was raised in Columbus, Ohio, joined Arthur Young & Co. in New York after his graduation from OSU in 1937. He retired from the firm in 1977 after serving 18 years as managing partner and senior partner.
He is survived by his wife, Betty K. Kent, two sons and a grandson.
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