Beryl W. Sprinkel, 85, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Reagan administration and who helped guide the administration's response to the October 1987 stock market crash, died Aug. 22 at a nursing home in Beecher, Ill. He had Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, a rare neuromuscular disease.
Sprinkel, protege of conservative economics guru Milton Friedman, taught economics at the University of Chicago and was executive vice president and economic advisor at the Harris Trust and Savings Bank in Chicago for nearly 30 years.
He joined the administration of President Reagan in 1981 as undersecretary of the Treasury for monetary affairs, where he was Treasury Secretary Donald Regan's principal negotiator on issues of Third World debt and the financing of the International Monetary Fund and other international lending agencies. He also played a role in encouraging the Japanese to open their capital markets to American investment.
In 1985, Sprinkel was named chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, after seven months of uncertainty over the council's future.
In 1987, Sprinkel was a contender to succeed Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, but the job went to Alan Greenspan. Sprinkel announced his resignation as council chairman, but Reagan rejected it. He also elevated Sprinkel's post to Cabinet-level status.
Beryl Wayne Sprinkel was born Nov. 20, 1923, on a tobacco farm near Richmond, Mo.
Sprinkel taught economics at the University of Missouri and at the University of Chicago before working for Harris Trust in Chicago from 1952 to 1981.