B. Commerce with honors (Commonwealth Government scholar 1960-1965), U. Newcastle (Australia), 1966; Master of Business Administration (Ford Foundation fellow 1967-1968), University of Chicago, 1968; Doctor of Philosophy, University of Chicago, 1971.
Audit clerk Forsythe & Company, Newcastle, Australia, 1960-1964, accountant Australia, 1964-1966. Instructor Graduate School Business, University Chicago, 1969-1970. Assistant professor Simon School Management, University Rochester, New York, 1971-1978, associate professor, 1978-1984, professor, 1984-1986.
Endowed chair Rochester Telephone Corporation, 1986-1998. William H. Meckling professor University Rochester, New York, 1998—2005. Professor Sloan School Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2005—2007, Erwin H. Schell professor management, since 2007.
Professor commerce University Newcastle, 1974-1976. Honorary professor City University Hong Kong, since 1996. Distinguished lecturer Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 1994.
Visiting professor Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002. Consultant in field.
Member American Accounting Association (Outstanding Educator award 2000, Seminal Research award 2004), American Finance Association, Institute Chartered Accountants in Australia.
Son of Leslie R. and Elsie B. (Horadam) W. m. Helen Clare Firkin, January 15, 1966. Children: Andrew David, James Michael.