U.S. economist, academic Lester Thurow dead at 77: university

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - Prominent U.S. economist and former dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s business school Lester Thurow, who wrote extensively about globalization, died on Friday at his home in Westport, Massachusetts, the university said.

Thurow, 77, was best known for a series of best-selling books on economics in the 1990s, including “Head to Head: The Coming Economic Battle Among Japan, Europe and America” and “The Future of Capitalism: How Today’s Economic Forces Shape Tomorrow’s World.”

A native of Montana, Thurow studied at Oxford University and Harvard University before joining MIT’s faculty in 1968.

He became focused on influencing economic debates outside of economic circles in the late 1970s, after failing to a win a position advising U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who led the United States through a period of high inflation following the 1973 oil crisis.

His policy recommendations focused on promoting education and long-term investment in companies and economies. He served as dean of MIT’s Sloan School of Management from 1987 through 1993.

“He left an indelible mark in the world of economic policy and his pioneering instinct for building connections with people, institutions and ideas around the world is woven deep into the daily life of MIT,” the university’s president, Rafael Reif, said in a statement late Tuesday.

Thurow is survived by his wife Anni, two sons, two stepchildren and seven grandchildren, the university said.

Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Jonathan Oatis