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The Daily

Michael Oxley, of Sarbanes-Oxley Fame, Dies at 71

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jan 4, 2016
OxleyMichael G. Oxley, the lawmaker who co-sponsored the landmark Sarbanes-Oxley Act, has died at the age of 71, according to the New York Times. A former FBI agent, Oxley served in Congress until 2007, representing the state of Ohio as a Republican. In the wake of the 2001 Enron accounting scandal, the congressman was instrumental in creating the legislation aimed at preventing similar incidents in the future. While the law was signed in 2002, its impact can be felt even today: since the passage of the act that bears his name, we have seen increased emphasis on auditor independence and objectivity, the rise of independent audit committees, and the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, among many, many other things. The New York Times said he died from non-small cell lung cancer, though was not a smoker. 

The Trusted Professional talked to Oxley in 2012, the 10-year anniversary of his famous bill who, reflecting on its effects since being passed, said he was satisfied with his work, saying the country has not seen the sort of "macroeconomic meltdown, like we had with Enron and WorldCom," which he said was "a pretty good indicator that the law does work."