In Memory of
George Borts
8/29/1927- 5/2/2014
George S. and Nancy B. Parker Professor Emeritus of Economics


It is with profound sadness that I inform you of the passing of Professor George H. Borts on Friday May 2, 2014.

Professor Borts was the George S. and Nancy B. Parker Professor Emeritus of Economics, having retired from the University in July 2013.  He received an A.B. in economics and history from Columbia University in 1947, and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1953. 

He first came to the University as an Assistant Professor in 1950, when he was only twenty-two years old.  He went on to have a long and distinguished career at Brown.  Climbing through the ranks, he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1954, and to Professor in 1960, serving as Chair of the Department of Economics between 1964 and 1967.  His 63 years of service as a faculty member is virtually unparalleled, not only at Brown, but anywhere else. 

As an economist, he made contributions to the fields of transportation economics, industrial organization, and international finance.  His distinguished academic career includes eleven years, between 1969 and 1980, as the Managing Editor of the American Economic Review, one of the top academic journals of the profession.

His legacy as an economist includes not only dozens of scholarly papers, but the many lives he touched as a cherished colleague, teacher, and advisor.  Over more than six decades at Brown, George Borts had thousands of students, and supervised dozens of senior theses and doctoral dissertations.  Until last year, he was teaching undergraduate courses on international finance and on the welfare state in America, as well as leading several independent studies on a variety of topics.  In order to honor George, the Department of Economics, with the help of an anonymous donor, has endowed the George Borts Economics Dissertation Prize, to recognize the best economics doctoral dissertation written each year.  At his retirement dinner hosted by the Department of Economics last September, many of his former graduate students came back to Brown to show their gratitude and affection to George and shared with all of us their great memories of his teaching and advising.

George Borts was unanimously admired by his colleagues and students, who will always remember and miss his insight, humor, and kindness. 

Donations to the George Borts Dissertation Fund will be gratefully accepted.  If you would like to contribute, please send a check made payable to Brown University to the following address:  Department of Economics, Brown University, Box B, Providence, RI, 02912.  Please indicate that it is for Borts Dissertation Fund in the check memo line. 

BDH article "Students and friends remember former economics prof. for humor and brilliance"

The American Economic Review obituary