Walter Leonard, 86, who designed an admissions process at Harvard University that led to more minority students, died this month.
Mr. Leonard's wife, Betty Leonard, said he had complications from Alzheimer's disease.
In 1971, Mr. Leonard was named as a special assistant to Harvard president Derek Bok. Mr. Leonard had already worked as an assistant dean at Harvard Law School, where he was credited with increasing the number of black, Latino, and female students.
The admissions formula he created for the entire university included race or ethnicity as a plus, among other factors. The policy has survived four decades of constitutional scrutiny. Similar affirmative-action policies at the University of Texas are currently under review by the Supreme Court. - AP