In Memoriam: Richard Cooper

January 11, 2021
Richard Cooper

Richard Cooper, Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics in the Department of Economics at Harvard University and HEEP Faculty Fellow, passed away on the evening of Wednesday, December 23rd at the age of 86. Over the course of his long career, Professor Cooper served as an economist, policy advisor, and academic. Graduating from Oberlin College in 1956 and then from the London School of Economics and Political Science as a Marshall Scholar in 1958, Richard went on to receive his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1962. Richard served on the Council of Economic Advisers from 1961-1963 in the Kennedy Administration as senior staff economist, then continued serving the government as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Monetary Affairs.

Professor Cooper began teaching at Harvard in 1981, when he became the Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics at Harvard University, a title he held for the rest of his career. Richard returned to public service to become the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston from 1990-1992 and then chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 1995-1997.

In addition to his illustrious career as government administrator, policy advisor, and cherished teacher, Professor Cooper will be remembered by friends as a man who was modest and always young at heart. He enjoyed riding his bicycle to work as a young man in Washington D.C. and continued this tradition in Cambridge where, up until recently, he would commute to his office at Harvard on his bike to teach.

Professor Cooper is further remembered by his friend and colleague, Jeffrey Frankel in a tribute posted to his blog, here.

See also: 2021