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Roger C. Kormendi

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Roger C. Kormendi is an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan Business School. He was previously an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and a Director of Research at the Mid-America Institute for Public Policy Research. He has worked extensively for the tobacco industry.

Together with Cyrus J. Gardner he also runs a private partnership, Kormendi/Gardner Partners, (founded in 1991) (web site: www.kgpartners.com).

Documents & Timeline

1949 July 24: born in New York and grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia.


1967: graduated Woodson High School


1971: B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia


1975 began teaching in the graduate business school at the University of Chicago.


1977: Ph.D. in Economics from UCLA.


1984/E He founded the think-tank, the Mid-America Institute for Public Policy Research, Inc. [aka Mid American Institute. His research projects on financial matters led to such publications as "Public Policy in Flux" (1986) and "Black Monday and the Future of Financial Markets" (1989). However the tobacco archives don't show this think-tank being used to support the cigarette business.

The think-tank later changed its name to Catalyst Institute and it is now part of the extreme corporate-backed libertarian Atlas Group network of think tanks. There is only one minor reference to Paul Knapp, President & CEO of the Catalyst Institute in the tobacco archives. [href="http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Catalyst_Institute], See also


1984 June 20: Patricia Milita of Ogilvy & Mather PR has written to Michael Kerrigan, a Regional Director at the Tobacco Institute.

Following is the information you requested on The Tobacco Institute's involvement in the U.S. Department of Treasury's tax simplification hearings in your region.

  • So far, one hearing has been held in the Northern Sector: in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 19. Dolores Martin, an economics professor at the University of Nebraska, presented testimony at that hearing. We arranged interviews for her with KSTP-AM (radio) and KSTP-TV (both are St. Paul stations). A copy of her testimony and a biographical sketch are attached.
  • The next hearing [June 25] in your region will be in New York on Monday, June 25. Harold Hochman, an economics professor at Baruch College of the City University of New York, will testify. Hochman's testimony (subject to his revision) and biographical information are attached. We are seeking media coverage for him.
  • The final hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 28 in Springfield, Illinois. We are now preparing testimony and seeking both an academician and a small business spokesperson to present testimony at that hearing. [2]
Harold Hochman and Dolores Martin were members of the Committee on Taxation and Economic Growth run by O&M at that time for the Tobacco Institute.

1984 Jun 28 He was one of the six people hired by the Tobacco Institute through Ogilvy & Mather (O&M)'s PR division to present testimony against excise taxes. [3] This testimony was given to the U.S. Treasury Department in Springfield on June 28, 1984. [4]

These are Roger Kormendi's remarks made at the Treasury hearings in Springfield on behalf of the tobacco industry. [5]

He does not mention at the hearing that his statement was funded by, and requested by, the Tobacco Institute]

1984 Sep 6: Patricia Milita of O&M reported to Peter Sparber (TI Vice President) in the 'August Monthly Report'

  • Hired Roger Kormendi to prepare testimony for submission to the Senate Finance Committee. [6]

An excerpt of his written statement for the Senate Finance Committee was published in 1985 in a TI booklet called "Excise Taxes: the Fairness Issue" together with excerpts of statements from other people including several members of the 'Committee on Taxation and Economic Growth'. At that time he was an associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago. [7]

Mr. Kormendi co-founded in 1984 the Mid America Institute for Public Policy Research (or 'The Mid America Institute' for short) in Chicago, which was a public policy think tank focusing on financial markets and financial crises.

Roger Kormendi joined the Michigan Business School faculty in 1985 and became a tenured professor of business economics and public policy in 1987.

Several documents (co-)authored by Roger Kormendi were published by 'The Mid America Institute' of which he was in 1993 the managing director. [8] That same year it was renamed to Catalyst Institute. [9]

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