Murray Lew Weidenbaum (February 10, 1927-March 20, 2014) was one of America's treasures. He dedicated himself to articulating and applying sound economic principles in both scholarly and governmental arenas and he did so with unmatched expertise, clarity, and grace. He moved frequently and seamlessly between academia and government, holding jobs with corporations including
Professor Weidenbaum received a B.B.A. from City College of New York, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He was a faculty member in Washington University's Department of Economics from 1964 until the time of his death. He chaired the Department of Economics from 1966-1969 and was named Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor upon his return after his stint as chair of Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers.
He, along with former Chancellor of Washington University William Danforth, founded the Center for the Study of American Business (CSAB) in 1975. CSAB was renamed the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy in 2001 to honor Professor Weidenbaum and his work. In his CSAB research and publications, he leaves a legacy of his work on regulatory, defense, tax, trade, and budget policy.
Throughout his career, Professor Weidenbaum served or advised five U.S. presidents and scores of other policy makers. He served as President Ronald Reagan's first chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and was widely known as a key architect of
"Reaganomics," issuing the first written version of Reagan's economic plan in 1981. After leaving the post in 1982, he continued to serve on the President's Economic Policy Advisory Board. He was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Nixon administration, fiscal economist at the Bureau of the Budget in the Truman administration, and chair of the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission under President Clinton.
His public service extended to his written work as well. His insights fill the pages of 15 books (since 1988 alone) and hundreds of articles. His textbook, Business and Government in the Global Marketplace, went into seven editions. The Bamboo Network was a finalist for the 1996 global business book of the year and Small Wars, Big Defense was the outstanding economics book of 1992. His body of work will inform students of public policy for decades to come.
An archive of his written work will be available at Washington University's Olin Library. Articles published by the Weidenbaum Center (previously Center for the Study of American Business) can be found here.