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A Civic Entrepreneur

A Civic Entrepreneur
The Life of Technology Visionary George Kozmetsky

This biography details the life and career of George Kozmetsky, a prominent twentieth-century Texas educator, businessman, technology innovator, and philanthropist.

Series: Tower Books Imprint

The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin
July 2018
550 pages | 6 x 9 |

“The guidance, support, and friendship of George Kozmetsky were instrumental in the early success of Dell. In this compelling biography, Monty Jones has illuminated George’s lifelong contributions as a leader in business, education, and civic life.”
—Michael Dell, chairman and CEO, Dell Technologies

Throughout his career as an industrialist, educator, visionary supporter of new technologies, advocate for worldwide economic development, and philanthropist, George Kozmetsky promoted constructive interactions among the worlds of academia, government, and private-sector business. He personified these interactions as a founder of Teledyne, a dean of the business school at the University of Texas at Austin, an academic researcher at the university’s IC2 Institute, a promoter of new technologies, and a consultant to entrepreneurs and government agencies.

In this comprehensive biography, Monty Jones details all aspects of Kozmetsky’s life, from his childhood as the son of Russian immigrants, to his service in World War II, to his accomplishments in technology, education, and business. While Kozmetsky is most widely known for taking early steps to propel the business school at the University of Texas at Austin toward its current position as an internationally prominent institution and for playing a central role in the economic transformation of Austin from a sleepy college town to its present-day status as a center of high-technology research, development, and manufacturing, Jones also details Kozmetsky’s technology career, influence, and philosophy. Kozmetsky embodied the concept of “civic entrepreneurship,” which involves a merging of business acumen, a deep commitment to social responsibility, and visionary leadership for a community’s economic development. Inherent in Kozmetsky’s role as a civic entrepreneur was the broadest possible definition of “community,” beginning with one’s city and region but growing outward to encompass the globe.


Austin, Texas

Jones is a former public affairs official at UT Austin and the UT System and a former reporter on higher education at the Austin American-Statesman. He is the coauthor, with William H. Cunningham, of The Texas Way: Money, Power, Politics, and Ambition at the University, published by the Briscoe Center.