I want to share with you the following message from Erik Olsen.

In memoriam John F. Henry (1943-2020)

Dr. John F. Henry Ph.D. died at home with family in Kansas City on September 26, 2020 after a long illness. John spent most of his career as a professor of economics at California State University, Sacramento, beginning in 1970 as an Assistant Professor and retiring as Professor Emeritus 2004. He also spent more than a decade as a valued member of the faculty in the Department of Economics at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). John first came to UMKC for the 2001-2002 academic year as a Visiting Professor of Economics and Visiting Fellow of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability. After retiring from Sacramento State, he moved to UMKC to serve as a Visiting Professor in 2004, a position he held until 2014. After leaving UMKC John continued to teach as a Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.

Born in Red Hill, PA, John earned an A.B. from Muhlenberg College in 1965, and studied economics as a graduate student at McGill University, earning the M.A. degree in 1967 and a Ph.D. in 1974. John’s doctoral dissertation John Bates Clark and the Origins of Neoclassical Economics was completed under the supervision of the eminent Post Keynesian economist Athanasios "Tom" Asimakopulos.

Dr. Henry’s research focused on the history of economic thought, economic history, and political economy. He was the author of two books, The Making of Neoclassical Economics (Unwin Hyman, 1990; repr., Routledge, 2011) and John Bates Clark (Macmillan, 1995). He also published more than 50 articles in academic journals and numerous book chapters.

Dr. Henry won many teaching, research, and service awards during his career, and was the recipient of the 2016 Veblen-Commons Award from the Association for Evolutionary Economics. The Veblen-Commons Award is presented annually by the Association for Evolutionary Economics in recognition of outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of evolutionary institutional economics and is the association’s highest honor. Recipients of this prestigious award include Gardiner Means, Gunnar Myrdal, John Kenneth Galbraith, Robert Heilbroner, and Hyman Minsky. A festschrift in Dr. Henry’s honor, Marx, Veblen, and the Foundations of Heterodox Economics: Essays in Honor of John F. Henry, was published in 2015 (Tae-Hee Jo and Frederic S. Lee editors, Routledge).

Dr. Henry influenced generations of students. Among the undergraduate students he mentored and guided to careers as academic economists were L. Randall Wray and Stephanie (Bell) Kelton. One of his earliest students, while teaching as a graduate student at McGill University, was Mario Seccareccia. John was an enormously popular teacher and advisor at UMKC, and an important member of the Economics faculty at UMKC when the department became internationally known as a center for heterodox economics. Both undergraduate and graduate students eagerly sought-out Dr. Henry’s classes, and he was remarkably generous with his time, often spending hours each day meeting with students. In high demand as an advisor for doctoral students, he served on dozens of dissertation committees at UMKC, and often played a crucial role in patiently guiding students to successful completion of their research.

A passionate advocate for the rights of working people and oppressed people everywhere, he was a fierce critic of the role that economics and economists often play in rationalizing and perpetuating injustice. His loss is deeply felt by his former students, colleagues, friends, and family, but his legacy lives on in those of us whose research, teaching, and understanding of economics continues to be shaped by him.

L. Randall Wray
Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Institute

Professor of Economics, Bard College

Emeritus Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Co-editor Journal of Post Keynesian Economics
ISSN 0160-3477 (Print), 1557-7821 (Online)

Recent Books:

A Great Leap Forward: Heterodox Economic Policy for the 21st Century; Randall Wray; Paperback ISBN: 9780128193808; Academic Press; Published Date: 22nd January 2020;


Macroeconomics; Author(s): William Mitchell, L. Randall Wray, Martin Watts; Red Globe Press, Macmillan International; February 2019;


Why Minsky Matters: An Introduction to the work of a maverick economist, Princeton University Press


Modern Money Theory: a primer on macroeconomics for sovereign monetary systems, Palgrave Macmillan 


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