Following up on my previous post on the death of Tax Prof Michael J. McIntyre: Mike's Wayne State colleague and friend Allen Schenk shares his thoughts on Mike's passing:
Michael (Mike) McIntyre died August 24, 2013, after a seven-year bout with advanced prostate cancer. He was 71. He is survived by his spouse, May Ping Soo Hoo, his two sons, Devin and Colin, his seven siblings, their spouses, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mike’s long fight against the odds with his cancer was emblematic of Mike’s personality. He always challenged the status quo and authority, whether in his academic writing, his respected status on the faculty at Wayne State University Law School for 38 years, or with international organizations when he thought that their proposals favoured business at the expense of the individual.
Mike was an honor’s graduate of Providence College with a major in mathematics and after service in the Peace Corps in India (a builder of windmills when he was not teaching math), he graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1969.
After practice in Washington, D.C., Mike was the Director of Training and Research Associate for four years in Harvard’s International Tax Program. He started teaching in 1975 and, except for visits at Michigan, Virginia, and Utrecht University, he spent his entire academic career at Wayne. In recent years, Wayne’s central university relied heavily on Mike extraordinary grasp of budgetary issues at the university level.
At Wayne, Professor McIntyre taught individual and international tax, along with multistate tax, treaties, tax policy seminars and alternative dispute resolution. He was well liked and respected by his students. He received many university awards that recognized his scholarship, including the inaugural Career Development Chair for outstanding university scholars and a Faculty Recognition Award from the university Board of Governors.
Mike was a prolific scholar, He wrote many influential articles that remain timely today, including his Harvard Law Review article, co-authored with Ollie Oldman, on the taxation of the family. He continued to write on this topic, as well as on the taxation of interest, tax expenditures and a host of articles dealing with tax reform and most important to him, tax justice. Mike wrote, co-authored, or contributed to numerous books and monographs on taxation. Mike’s international tax treatise was the leading treatise in the field for many years. His Readings in Federal Taxation (with Sander & Westfall) led the way for other books of the same genre. Among his co-authors were his close friend Richard Pomp (Michigan’s Mislabeled Gross Receipts Tax in the Wayne Law Review), and another dear friend, Brian Arnold (International Tax Primer published by Kluwer).
Mike had a wonderful wry sense of humor. For many years, those of us in the tax field looked forward to Mike’s April 1 spoofs in Tax Notes, including the one published on March 31, 1980, entitled “Optimal Tax Act Passes: Income Tax Replaced with Lump Sum Levy.” An avid (some might say “rabid”) Boston Red Sox fan, his love of baseball crept into “Opening Day Cancelled, Kuhn Announces,” published by Tax Notes April 2, 1979.
Mike’s recognition as a leading tax expert extended far beyond the academy. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Tax Notes International, consulted with national governments on six continents and many states in the U.S., with the Navajo Tribe, the World Bank, and the Multistate Tax Commission. He was active in the National Tax Association, organizing panels and roundtables for their meetings. He was a frequent speaker at international conferences, and conducted workshops and other programs for organizations like the OECD. And the list goes on.
Mike, and his brother and best friend Robert McIntyre, Director of Citizens for Tax Justice, were “joined at the hip.” They were like-minded advocates, who jointly testified in Congress, argued about tax policy, and advanced the cause of justice in our federal tax system. Bob said it best at Mike’s memorial service:
Mike used his academic “platform to promote fairer, more progressive taxes, both here in the US and around the world. Despite his long illness, Mike remained engaged in tax policy almost to the very end. He made the world a better place, not just for his large extended family and his many friends, but also for the countless people here in the U.S. and around the world who benefitted from the tax policies he promoted. We will all miss his advice, generosity, sharp humor and extraordinary niceness. But we’re very grateful to have had him in our lives.”