The Man Who Made Economics Understandable

It has been more than 25 years since Leonard Silk wrote for BUSINESS WEEK. But he left a lasting legacy. In the 15 years he was on the staff, from 1954 to 1969, he pioneered a new form of journalism: the coverage of economics as news and public policy.

With the guidance and support of Elliott V. Bell, then editor and publisher, Silk created BUSINESS WEEK's economics department and turned out a stream of coverage that made the great economics issues of the time understandable to any reader, particularly during the "new economics" era of the Kennedy and Johnson years. BUSINESS WEEK has consistently built on that tradition to this day.

Leonard, who had a PhD in economics, was also a mentor to many young people. He was generous with his time, sharing ideas and pushing us to make complex ideas accessible to the public.

Leonard Silk died on Feb. 7, at 76. Until his retirement two years ago, his was a familiar name on the pages of The New York Times, which he joined shortly after leaving BUSINESS WEEK. He will be remembered for his role in leading the transformation of the "dismal science" into the stuff of good reading.