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Ron Shapiro '64
Ron Shapiro '64

Ron Shapiro ’64 Returns to Haverford to Discuss “Dare to Prepare”

Ron Shapiro ’64 returned to Haverford College on January 24 to talk about his new book, “Dare to Prepare: How to Win Before You Begin,” which is currently on The New York Times Best Seller List.

Shapiro’s discussion covered a wide range of topics, including the Haverford College values and lessons that have shaped his career as an expert negotiator, sports agent, attorney, educator, author and civic leader. He took questions from the audience during the one-hour event, which concluded with a book signing session.

In his remarks to the students, Shapiro alluded to the role Haverford played in forming his values, citing Professor of History Emeritus Roger Lane as an important influence. Shapiro's philosophy of treating everyone alike, from the parking lot attendant to the CEO he's negotiating with, largely grew out of his undergraduate days here. He also learned how to deal with reporters and editors determined to get the story since the editor-in-chief of The Haverford News at the time Ron was President of Students' Council was classmate Norm Pearlstine, later top editor at the Wall Street Journal and Time, Inc.!

Shapiro has always insisted that his clients perform community service or "give back" in some way to the community which supports them. Perhaps that emphasis also started at Haverford since Ron was one of the students active in the organizing of Serendipity Day Camp, a fixture on campus now for more than 40 years, connecting Haverford with the African-American community in Ardmore. Finally, in answer to questions from students, Shapiro stressed the importance of a broad liberal arts education even in preparing for careers as specialized as sports agent or professional sports executive, using examples from his own life in which his own education allowed him to take advantage of opportunities which might not otherwise have been available.

Ron Shapiro played baseball at Haverford College and graduated Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1967. After law school, Shapiro served as Maryland State Securities Commissioner and earned a reputation as one of the most effective state investment officials in the nation. In 1972, he founded what is now known as Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler, a prominent Baltimore law firm. Subsequently, in 1976 Mr. Shapiro founded Shapiro, Robinson & Associates, a sports management firm that developed a national reputation through its holistic approach to contract negotiation, sound financial management, and commitment to community involvement on the part of its clients. In 1995 he founded Shapiro Negotiations Institute, a negotiation seminar and consulting firm that has trained over 250,000 professionals in the art of negotiation, dealing with difficult personalities, and enhancing listening skills.

USA TODAY called Ron Shapiro “one of baseball’s most respected agent-attorneys,” and Sporting News named him one of the “100 most powerful people in sports.” His impressive list of clients includes five of the “100 greatest major-league baseball players of the 20th century,” including Hall of Famers’: Cal Ripken, Jr., Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Murray, Also on that list are Hall of Fame Broadcaster Chuck Thompson, and ESPN Broadcaster Jon Miller both of whom have benefited from the more than one billion dollars in contracts that Mr. Shapiro has negotiated. In addition, Mr. Shapiro is the Special Advisor To The Owner of the Baltimore Ravens.

In October 1998, Mr. Shapiro’s book, THE POWER OF NICE: HOW TO NEGOTIATE SO EVERYONE WINS- ESPECIALLY YOU! (Revised Edition, 2001) was published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. THE POWER OF NICE® was excerpted in FORTUNE MAGAZINE and named one of the “Top Ten ‘On the Job’ Business Books of the Year” by the LIBRARY JOURNAL. Mr. Shapiro also authored more than 20 law journal articles; co-authored books on corporate and securities law; founded Maryland’s major bar review course; and began a legal publishing company. His book, Bullies, Tyrants & Impossible People: HOW TO BEAT THEM WITHOUT JOINING THEM, was released by Crown Books (Random House) in June 2005 and made The Wall Street Journal’s Best Seller List in its first week of publication.

Founders Green on a warm spring day.

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