Dr. Paul Hersey

January 26, 1931December 18, 2012
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On Tuesday December 18th, Dr. Paul “Doc” Hersey, Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Center for Leadership Studies, passed away peacefully at the age of 81. In his final moments, he was surrounded by his loving wife Suzie, close family and friends.

Dr. Paul Hersey is internationally recognized as a leading authority on training and development in leadership and management. The Situational Leadership® Model he developed has been used to train more than 14 million managers in thousands of companies across the globe and is deployed in 70% of Fortune 500 companies.

A staunch advocate of education, Dr. Hersey has received numerous degrees from various institutions, including a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science from Seton Hall University.

After developing The Situational Leadership® Model in the late 1960s, Dr. Paul Hersey spent the last 40+ years traveling the globe to teach his model to leaders from all over the world. His love of teaching was unmatched as was evidenced by his insistence to follow through on a client commitment in mid-November, despite his failing health.

At the time of his death, Dr. Paul Hersey was a Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies at Nova Southeastern University and formerly served on the faculties of Northern Illinois University, California State College at Chico, The University of Arkansas and Ohio University. In addition, Dr. Hersey also served as Chairman of the Department of Management, Dean of the School of Business and President of California American University – Graduate School of Applied Behavioral Science.

Dr. Hersey has authored or coauthored numerous papers, articles and books, including the best-selling management text “Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources” along with “Organizational Change Through Effective Leadership” and “Selling: A Behavioral Science Approach,” “The Situational Leader,” “Situational Selling,” “Situational Service: Customer Care for the Practitioner” and “Situational Parenting.” Dr. Hersey introduced his most recent book at ASTD in May of 2012 titled “Leadership Blueprint: Why We Better Lead and Lead Better.”

Most importantly, Dr. Paul Hersey will be remembered as a man with an incredibly generous spirit who adored his wife Suzie, his six children, Glenna Withem and her husband, Jimmie of Athens, OH; Deborah Hersey of Lucadia, CA; David Hersey and his wife, Kate of Escondido, CA; Maureen Shriver and her husband, Sam of Durham, NC; Michael Hersey and his wife, Robyn of Nevato, CA; and Garth Hersey of Escondido, CA; brothers, Ralph Hersey; Fred Hersey; and Alfred Hersey;16 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.


  • Visitation Saturday, December 22, 2012
  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dr. Paul Hersey

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steve caldwell

January 4, 2013

While I knew Doc for over 25 years, it was the six years of employment at CLS that I gained so much from his friendship. Suzie, I am so sorry for your loss. I and so many of your friends here in Escondido continue to mourn your loss. Recently I met with nine current and former CLS employees to honor Doc. It was good to get the"family" together again. Please express my thanks to George for keeping the line of communication open, as I was asked for information constantly during Doc's valiant battle. Your Friend, Steve Caldwell

Ed Benson

December 28, 2012

Dear Suzie, Maureen, David and family of Paul,

I am sorry to hear of Paul's passing.

He leaves a legendary mark on the leaders of today and a commendable personal legacy.

With respect and admiration,

Ed Benson .

December 26, 2012

Suzie, our thoughts are with you as you go through this difficult time. We always enjoyed Doc's visits and conversations so much. He would always check in with his beloved Suzie during every visit. I know you will miss him so very much. Please stay in touch.
May God bless you and give you strength.

Mildred and Clarence Wegmann

Terry Bumpass

December 24, 2012

Suzie, I was deeply saddened when I received the news that Paul had passed in an E-Mail from Jim Wycoff on Saturday morning, as having not been in contact with you or Paul, I had no idea that he had been seriously ill. Had Vikki and I had known of Paul's passing earlier, we would have made the trip and been in attendance to share in you and your familie's grief and celebration of Paul's life and contributions he made for humankind. I will always value his friendship and mentoring, but will forever miss his counsel. Suzie, you and your family will forever be in our thoughts and prayers, especially during this holiday season...please stay in touch, and if you ever need anything, Vikki and I will always be available to assist if possible. GOD Bless!

Richard Lazar

December 22, 2012

Paul was a giant in his lifetime our field and to me personally. I discovered my own way in part by his fervor and strength of character. It's been 30+ years and naturally I remember his upbeat confidence. Sadly i did not know he lived here. We arrived in the area 3 years ago. I would have loved to swap some tales. He was my kind of thought leader. Prayers and best wishes to the family. Dr. Richard Lazar

Tuesdee Sharpe

December 21, 2012

My condolences to all of you for your loss. My thoughts are with you!

Kris Ellis-Levy

December 20, 2012

I am so sorry to learn of your loss! It is an honor to count Dr. Hersey as part of the Pearson family.

Brandy Archambeault

December 20, 2012

"O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting..." - Walt Whitman

For thirty years my teacher, my adviser, my champion. O CAPTAIN! my Captain! Our loss is heaven's gain.

Walt Sliva

December 20, 2012

The Senior Men's golf group at Prestonwood has lost a dear friend in Doc. Our prayers and condolences go out to Suzie and his family.

Pete Farley

December 19, 2012

Doc changed my life as a leader! So sorry to hear of his passing. My condolence to you and your family! He'll be missed!