The Accounting Historians Journal Vol. 14, No. 2 Fall 1987
1987 Accounting Hall of Fame Induction
Philip Leroy Defliese CITATION
Presented by: Robert M. Trueblood Professor Yuji Ijiri Carnegie-Mellon University
Written by: Professor Thomas J. Burns The Ohio State University
In fiction, he would be a detective in a Dashiell Hammett Novel. In real life, he has described himself as "a New Yorker" with the subtlety of an "elephant." When he was told of his election to the hall, he retorted why had it taken so long. Maybe this forceful yet genial accountant is a bit hard-boiled, but he is also widely regarded for both his wit and his ability.
A child of the long depression, he talks and acts in the straightest way possible, perhaps he took his first full-time job at the age of 16, spent five nights a week, for seven years, to earn his first college degree, and has never stopped working since. How could he not be a realist when having started as a mailboy? He took a pay cut of $2.50 per week to become an accountant — (and replaced an older man making twice as much). How could he not be a pragmatist when he could do better financially as a teacher — of high school or at Adelphi University — than he could in public accounting? For four years, he was a "permanent substitute" high school teacher of accounting under Mayor LaGuardia before passing the CPA exams and becoming a "permament temporary" junior ac-countant at Coopers and Lybrand. Earning his master's degree in business education in evening classes at City College of New York, he completed all but his dissertation for his Ph.D. at New York University.
In World War II, he was a lieutenant in the Pacific who specialized in anti-submarine warfare; afterwards he married Pauline who had lived only a block away but who met him on a blind date. When he came back to the firm in 1948, he re-quested a three-part assignment: auditing in the field, teaching in the officer training school, and assisting the firm's SEC specialist. During the twenty years until he became the firm's managing partner and the dozen years afterwards, his leader-