Harry Kahn was born in Franfurt-am-Main, Germany, in September 1921. With the Seizure of power in Germany by the Nazis, he moved with his family to England, and subsequently to the United States. In this country, he studied at the Watkins Institute in Nashville, Tennessee, and later received his bachelor's degree at Vanderbilt University. He did his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, where he received his master's and doctor's degrees.
Before coming to Rutgers in 1958, Harry Kahn was for six years a member of the staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research in New York City, and he retained this connection with the Bureau while at Rutgers. Previously he taught at the University of Wisconsin and the College of the City of New York. He also served in the late 1940s and early 1950s as a consultant to the city of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin, studying their tax and other fiscal problems.
Beginning with his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin with Professor Harold Groves, Harry Kahn devoted his major intellectual energies to the field of public finance. He published three major books in this area-Personal Deductions in the Federal Income Tax in 1960, Business and Profesional Income Under the Personal Income Tax in 1964, and Employee compensation Under the Income Tax in 1968-as well a numerous articles. His work and his testimony before Congressional committees and other public bodies won him a well-deserved reputation as an outstanding authority in the field of public finance.
Harry Kahn was a highly valued teacher and colleague during his years at Rutgers. His outstanding strength was the invaluable guidance and direction he gave to his graduate students and younger colleagues in their research efforts. He insisted on the highest standards of intellectual effort and integrity both for himself and his associates. During his last years, Harry Kahn fought valiantly against a painful and relentless disease. Until the last week of his life, however, he continued his teaching and other work with the bravest of perseverance. His death occurred on April 28, 1972. Read Richard Musgrave's memorial lecture .