Born in Gary, Indiana in1915, Samuelson, was likely the most influential economist of the later 20th century. The first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, the Swedish Royal Academies stated, when awarding the prize in 1970, that he “has done more than any other contemporary economist to raise the level of scientific analysis in economic theory.” Samuelson considered mathematics to be the ‘natural language’ for economists and contributed significantly to the mathematical foundations of economics with his book Foundations of Economic Analysis. He was author of the best-selling economics textbook of all time: Economics: An Introductory Analysis, first published in 1948. He entered the University of Chicago at age 16, during the depths of the Great Depression, and received his PhD in economics from Harvard. After graduating, he became an assistant professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) when he was 25 years of age and a full professor at age 32. In 1966, he was named Institute Professor, MIT’s highest faculty honor. He spent his career at MIT, where he was instrumental in turning its Department of Economics into a world-renowned institution by attracting other noted economists, many of which went on to win Nobel Prizes. He served as an advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and was a consultant to the United States Treasury, the Bureau of the Budget and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Samuelson wrote a weekly column for Newsweek magazine. Samuelson died after a brief illness on December 13, 2009, at the age of 94.

Key works: 1939 Interactions between the multiplier analysis and the principle of acceleration, 1941 Protection and real wages (with Stolper W.), 1946 Foundations of Economic Analysis, 1948 Economics: An Introductory Text, 1954 The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure, 1958, An exact consumption-loan model of interest with or without the social contrivance of money, 1987 388 papers in the Collected Scientific Papers of Paul Samuelson 

Link to History of Economic Thought Website

Nobel.org Page on Paul Samuelson