PASSINGS / Stanley Lebergott

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Stanley Lebergott, 91, a retired economist and professor who maintained that consumerism had brought positive changes to the American standard of living, died July 24 of cardiac arrest at his home in Middletown, Conn.

Lebergott, a former government economist and Wesleyan University professor, took issue with those who disdained "consumerism" as wasteful, pointless, even immoral.

Consumption, he maintained, has always been an expression of human longing rather than mere acquisitiveness.

Lebergott was born in Detroit on July 22, 1918. He received a bachelor's in 1938 and a master's in 1939, both in economics, from the University of Michigan. He joined the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1940.

His books included "Manpower in Economic Growth" (1964), which he updated 12 years later.

Writing about that book in a 2006 issue of Economic History, Boston University economics professor Robert Margo concluded: "Lebergott's influence on economic history has been profound."


Hironoshin Furuhashi, vice president of international swimming's governing body and one of Japan's first great swimmers, has died. Furuhashi, 80, who helped organize the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, was in Rome for the world championships and died in his sleep, swimming organization officials said Sunday. No cause of death was given.

Shafik Hout, an aide to Yasser Arafat who fell out with the late Palestinian leader over the 1993 peace accords with Israel and resigned from the Palestine Liberation Organization in protest, died of cancer Sunday in Beirut. He was 77.


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