Joseph Bachelder III, Engineer of the Golden Parachute, Dies at 88

In 2003, Mr. Bachelder testified before a Senate committee on the subject of overpaid CEOs what Senator John McCain said at the time “angered many Americans.” Mr. Bachelder said he did not believe executive pay has “grown outrageously” and argued that generous pay was justified by the overriding importance of a CEO to a company’s success.

Economy & Economy

Updated

Dec. Dec. 23, 2020 at 8:59 p.m. ET

Mr. Bachelder closed his firm in 2012 and joined the national law firm McCarter & English at their Manhattan office as a special advisor at the age of 79. He continued to represent clients, lectured at Harvard, and write a monthly column for the New York Law Journal. Most recently, he wrote about the impact of Covid-19 on executive compensation.

For his part, perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr Bachelder was able to obtain impressive compensation for himself. Joseph Boccassini, managing partner at McCarter & English, said in an interview that Mr. Bachelder was billed at $ 1,115 an hour.

Joseph Elmer Bachelder III was born on November 13, 1932 in Fulton, Missouri, about 100 miles west of St. Louis. The family moved frequently.

His mother, Frances Gray Bachelder, was a housewife and painter. His father, Joseph E. Bachelder Jr., was a professor and pollster who was the only one in his field to predict Harry S. Truman’s presidential victory in 1948.

His father’s statistical mind was believed to have influenced the mindset of Mr Bachelder, his sister Jane Johnson said in a telephone interview. He had “a computer chip for a brain,” she said.

Joseph graduated from Exeter Academy in New Hampshire in 1950 and magna cum laude from Yale University in 1955, the same year he married Louise Mason. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1958 and practiced tax law before choosing executive compensation as his niche. He settled in Princeton early in his career and lived there for most of his life.

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