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Philip Whitehead Goetz (1927 – October 1, 2008[1]) was the Executive Editor (under Chief Editor Warren E. Preece) for the first version of the 15th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica.[2] More importantly, he was the Chief Editor for the second version of the 15th edition, which was a massive revision and re-organization of the Britannica.

Goetz, who obtained a B.S. from Northwestern University in 1950 and joined Britannica in 1952, served as Chief Editor from 1979 to 1991. He is given critical acclaim for making the second version a much more useful encyclopedia, moving it away from the epistemological preconceptions of Mortimer J. Adler.[3]


  1. ^ "Obituary: Philip Whitehead "Tom" Goetz". Lake Forester. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  2. ^ Contemporary coverage of the unveiling of the 15th edition in TIME magazine (January 21, 1974)
  3. ^ Kister, KF (1994). Kister's Best Encyclopedias: A Comparative Guide to General and Specialized Encyclopedias (2nd ed.). Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press. ISBN 0-89774-744-5.