Kenneth Ewart Boulding (1910-1993)
Economist, man of letters, ardent peace activist--made his contribution to the
body of economic knowledge with a combination of humanistic values and technical
proficiency. Reading his papers, written from the early 1940s to the 1990s, one
sees a mastery and creativity not only of economics but of all the social
sciences and ethics as well.
Boulding was born in Liverpool, England, on January 18, 1910, and died in
Boulder, Colorado, on March 18, 1993. Five years after taking a degree at Oxford
with first-class honors he left for the United States, where he spent the rest
of his life, first as a U.S. resident and then as a citizen. Married in 1941, he
and his wife, Elise Bjorn-Hansen, were together for the subsequent fifty-two
years, in which they saw five children, John Russell, Mark David, Christine Ann,
Philip Daniel, and William Frederic, into the world and into professional life.
Boulding was awarded honorary doctorates by over thirty universities; he had
prizes not only for economics but also for political science, peace research,
and scholarship in the humanities. He was, in turn, president of the Society for
General Systems Research (1957-59), president of the American Economic
Association (1968), president of the International Peace Research Society
(1969-70), president of the International Studies Association (1974-75),
president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1979), and
president of the section on economics of the British Association for the
Advancement of Science (1982-83). He was a member of the National Academy of
Sciences (elected in 1975), the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences.
He settled first at the University of Michigan in 1949. In 1967 he moved to the
University of Colorado at Boulder, where he became distinguished professor
emeritus in 1980. But there were many intervals of work and teaching elsewhere
in the course of those years. The list of places where he visited for weeks or
months is as long as the list of universities that gave him doctorates.