Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson dies at 94 | world | Hindustan Times
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Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson dies at 94

US economist and Nobel laureate Paul Anthony Samuelson died on Sunday at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts.

world Updated: Dec 14, 2009 11:02 IST

US economist and Nobel laureate Paul Anthony Samuelson died Sunday at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts.

He was 94.

Samuelson was the first US Nobel laureate in economics in 1970 and one of the world's leading economists for more than half a century, the New York Times reported.


An economist at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in a career that spanned seven decades, Samuelson's mathematical analysis provided the foundation on which modern economics is built, MIT said in a statement.

In 1948, he wrote the best-selling economics text of all time, Economics: An Introductory Analysis, which has since been translated into 40 languages and has sold nearly four million copies over a span of 60 years.


Samuelson was born in Gary, Indiana, May 15, 1915. He went on to attend the University of Chicago for a bachelor's degree, later receiving his master's and doctorate from Harvard University.

He was appointed an assistant professor of economics at MIT in 1940, and in 1966 was named institute professor, MIT's highest faculty honour.


In his 1947 PhD thesis, Foundations of Economic Analysis, he told economists they had been practising "mental gymnastics of a particularly depraved type", and were like "highly trained athletes who never ran a race", according to MIT's website.

And while Samuelson did not claim that mathematics would cure all the ills of economic analysis, he insisted that mathematics was essential.


The Swedish Royal Academy said in its Nobel citation that in this first book, Samuelson had "rewritten considerable parts of central economic theory and has in several areas achieved results which now rank among the classical theories of economics".

Samuelson is survived by his wife of 28 years, Risha Samuelson, six children from his first marriage to the late Marion Crawford Samuelson and 15 grandchildren.