WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Kenneth Galbraith, an influential liberal economist, has died at age 97.
Here are five facts on John Kenneth Galbraith:
Galbraith was heavily influenced by British economist John Maynard Keynes, who advocated government spending to reduce unemployment. He was also an outspoken critic of supply-side economics which grew to dominance the 1980s.
He opposed the Vietnam War. In 1967 he told a Chicago conference that the United States had made a serious mistake in becoming involved in Vietnam and should take steps to withdraw.
Galbraith was a close friend and early supporter of President Kennedy, who named him ambassador to India from 1961 to 1963, the only years he did not spend at Harvard.
Galbraith also wrote speeches for two other Democratic presidential candidates: the late Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956, and Sen. George McGovern in 1972.
Galbraith wrote the bestseller "The Affluent Society" (1958) in which he argued that the United States had become rich in consumer goods but poor in social services.
Galbraith earned a doctorate in economics at the University of California and began his teaching career there. In 1949 Galbraith received his appointment as an economics professor at Harvard and taught there for most of the rest of his career.
© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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