Robert Louis Heilbroner

On this date in 1919, distinguished economist and social thinker Robert Louis Heilbroner was born into such a wealthy New York City family that he told the New York Post in 1972: "I was reared during the Great Depression and never knew there was one." He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1940 with B.A.s in history, govenment and economics. His doctorate was earned from the New School of Social Research in 1963. In 1972, the New School made Heilbroner the first Norman Thomas Professor of Economics, named for the Socialist Party presidential candidate. Heilbroner served during World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star. The most famous of Heilbroner's 20 books on economics is The Worldly Philosophiers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (1953). Known for its inviting writing style and humanization of economics, the book has been translated into 20 languages, has sold 4 million copies, and is a topselling college textbook. According to Who's Who in Hell, edited by Warren Allen Smith, Heilbroner "has gone on record as being a nontheist." He died of a stroke at age 85. D. 2005.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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