h o m e i d e a s p h. d   t r a i n i n g p e o p l e s e m i n a r s u m m e r e u r o p e a n  n e t w o r k  o n  i n e q u a l i t y n e w s
  H o m e


:: Summer Institute




Remembering John Kenneth Galbraith




Professor John Kenneth Galbraith, shown talking with the Galbraith Scholars at his home in 2001.

Photo©2001 Seth Kirshenbaum.

The renowned economist Professor John Kenneth Galbraith passed away at the age of 97 on April 29, 2006. Among the concerns John Kenneth Galbraith raised throughout his long and distinguished career were the stark contrast between the poor and affluent in industrialized societies, as well as between wealthy and poor nations. The Galbraith Scholars program, created on the occasion of Professor Galbraith's 90th birthday, aims to inspire a new generation to scholarship and public service that reflect the humane values inherent in John Kenneth Galbraith’s work.

In person John Kenneth Galbraith responded warmly and graciously to the development of the Galbraith Scholars program. He professed a delighted interest in meeting each new cohort of Galbraith Scholars, and his engagement greatly captivated his younger namesakes. Several of these meetings were highly celebratory events, drawing an array of University participants and invited guests for the annual Galbraith Lecture and dinner. Even more memorable, perhaps, for the Galbraith Scholars were those occasions in which they were invited to meet Professor Galbraith and his wife Catherine ‘Kitty’ Galbraith in their Cambridge home. These afternoons afforded visitors both rich conversation and fascinating glimpses into an extraordinary life documented in the family photos.

Whatever the setting, John Kenneth Galbraith unfailingly charmed the Galbraith Scholars with his signature wit, erudition, and eloquence. He characteristically would begin by surveying his audience, having the Scholars introduce themselves before sonorously pronouncing them most worthy of the Galbraith Scholar name. The heart of his discussion would most often focus on a theme from his most recent book or writings—for the nonagenarian always seemed to have just come out with a new book. He engaged readily in a variety of topics and warmed particularly to students who shared his fascination with India. No visit, of course, would be complete without several classic Galbraithian stories, and with an appropriately favorable reception, he could usually be counted on for a few bonus tales as well.

John Kenneth Galbraith lived to see 98 Galbraith Scholars participate in the Inequality & Social Policy summer program. More will follow this summer and in the coming years. In their collective commitments and accomplishments, they affirm the fundamental values that Professor Galbraith held dear.

The Galbraith Scholars will deeply miss and fondly remember John Kenneth Galbraith.


:: Faculty of Arts and Sciences Memorial Minute
See also the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Memorial Minute tribute to John Kenneth Galbraith, placed upon the records December 11, 2007.



Catherine 'Kitty' Galbraith (1913-2008)

Catherine Galbraith

Catherine Galbraith, posing for a group photo with the Galbraith Scholars in 2004.

Photo ©2004 by Tanit Sakakini.


Catherine 'Kitty' Galbraith, who shared in meeting most of the Galbraith Scholars over the years, passed away on October 1, 2008, at the age of 95. The history of the Galbraith Scholars program would not be complete without acknowledging Mrs. Galbraith's generosity and engagement with the Scholars.

:: Catherine Galbraith (1913-2008)




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