Kenneth Sokoloff Passed away last month

When Kenneth Sokoloff died at 54 last month, of liver cancer, the economic history profession lost one of its best men, and the University of California at Los Angeles one of its brightest stars. Sokoloff had built UCLA's economic history program into one of the strongest in the nation, sufficient to persuade a major figure like Dora Costa to forsake the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. . . . .

This is very sad news. Ken was always an interesting person. I took him for American Economic History while I was a student at UCLA. I also had many chances to interact with him. It wasn't what I would call warm and friendly conversations (even when we would have him over to our apartment for dinner a couple of times) and he was often quite critical of my work, especially my dissertation on indoctrination which upset him greatly, but I valued his comments and I enjoyed arguing things with him. Indeed, I can only think of one paper of mine that he gave an unreserved positive comment on -- my work with Larry Kenny on the impact of women's suffrage on the growth of government. He was a smart guy, who sufferred great health problems during much of his life. I always felt very sorry for him, but I admired his determination.



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