Shelby D. Hunt


Shelby Hunt passed away on 11 Jul 2022, from complications after surgery

POSTING TYPE: Obituaries

Author: Sreedhar Madhavaram

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of our dear friend and colleague Shelby D. Hunt on July 11, 2022, from complications after surgery. Details on a memorial and contributions will be shared as they become available. Shelby Hunt, the Jerry S. Rawls Chair of Marketing and a P. W. Horn Professor (Texas Tech University’s highest faculty honor), was planning to retire on August 1 after more than 42 years of service to Texas Tech University.

After earning a PhD in marketing from Michigan State University in 1968, Shelby served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, progressing through the professorial ranks and serving six years as department chair. He joined Texas Tech University in 1980 because of the “extraordinary promise of both Texas Tech University and the College of Business,” and he remained committed to the college and the university that he loved.

Sreedhar Madhavaram, the head of the marketing area and one of Shelby’s accomplished former doctoral students, shares his remembrances of Shelby below. We invite you to share your remembrances of Shelby using the form linked below.


To honor Dr. Hunt’s legendary career, impact on students and contributions to the field of marketing, we are collecting personal letters and photos that will be compiled into a special gift for the Hunt family.


Letter from the Area Coordinator

During his 42-year career, Shelby Hunt served the Rawls College of Business and Texas Tech University with masterful distinction. His stellar contributions to the marketing discipline and global reputation became synonymous with the institution that he loved so dearly.

Some of his most impactful career contributions include seven different research programs:  channels of distribution, marketing theory, marketing’s philosophy debates, macromarketing and ethics, relationship marketing, resource-advantage (R-A) theory, and marketing management and strategy which helped inspire many marketing scholars.

His dedication to the discipline is reflected in the more than 81,200 Google Scholar citations to his works. In 2011, Sage Publications published a ten-volume set, Legends in Marketing: Shelby D. Hunt, which included 132 of Shelby’s articles, 41 commentaries on his work by distinguished scholars and interviews of Shelby by each volume’s editor.

Shelby’s extraordinary persistence as a scholar rightfully earned him numerous accolades, awards, honors and recognitions. In 2017, the American Marketing Association named him a “Marketing Legend,” and in 2015, he was named a “Fellow of the American Marketing Association.” Additionally, Shelby received the Harold H. Maynard Award, Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award, Elsevier Science Exceptional Quality and High Scholarly Impact Award, Journal of Macromarketing Charles C. Slater Award among many others.

While Shelby was heavily committed to research, he never lost sight of his passion for teaching. At Texas Tech, he chaired 18 dissertations and served on seven committees, developed a research-oriented culture within Rawls College, and with doctoral students and faculty members, coauthored many impactful research articles.

Valued for his accessibility, humility, collegiality, friendship, sense of humor, and ready counsel, Shelby’s door was always open for his students and colleagues. He often provided input on research and teaching challenges that they were facing.

Apart from marketing, Shelby’s other greatest love was his family. He enjoyed sharing about his family with close friends and was equally interested in learning about theirs. It is almost fitting that relationship marketing is, arguably, his most influential work.

Cut from a cloth that is no longer made, Shelby was a special man who will be deeply, fondly, and genuinely missed, but his example will live on!

Sreedhar Madhavaram, Ph.D.
Area Coordinator of Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Alumni Professor of Marketing and United Supermarkets Professor of Marketing
Jerry S. Rawls College of Business