In Memoriam: Gary Becker

Gary Becker, the Nobel prize-winning economics died last month at the age of 83 from complications related to ulcer surgery. Dr. Becker served as The HAND Foundation's Chairman of the Advisory Board. Along with his wife, Guity Neshat, Dr. Becker played an instrumental role in establishing The HAND Foundation's Scholarships for Iranian PhD students in economics.

The Brooklyn native was widely recognized for his meticulous work in labor economics. "Professor Becker has shown that economic principles do not just exist in theory," President George W. Bush said while awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nations highest civilian honor. He had, President Bush continued, become "one of the most influential economists of the past hundred years."

Dr. Becker will be best remembered as the economists whose works transcended academic disciplines, most notably sociology. He was, as celebrated in the Economist as "the first prominent economists to apply economic tools to all aspects of life."

The HAND Foundation valued his analysis and insight and is deeply saddened by his passing. He is survived by his wife Guity, his daughters Judy and Catherine Becker, two stepsons Cyrus Claffey and Michael Claffey, and his sister Natalie Becker. His teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend Milton Friedman said it best in 2001 when he declared Dr. Becker was "the greatest social scientist who has lived and worked in the last half-century."