In Memoriam: Richard N. Cooper (1934–2020)

January 26, 2021

Richard Cooper speaks on a panel against a large computer screen

Richard N. Cooper, the Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics at Harvard University, passed away on December 23, 2020, at age eighty-six. He was a longtime Weatherhead Center affiliate—as a Faculty Associate since 1981; on the executive committee from 1981 until 2010; and as acting director of the Center for a brief stint in 1987. His four-decade tenure at Harvard was preceded by—and interspersed with—several governmental positions in the administrations of US Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton. 

Cooper was often seen holding court in the Weatherhead Center lobby, meeting with undergraduate and graduate students alike to offer advice and feedback. His commitment to teaching was indefatigable, and he taught right up until his passing. His wife, Jin Cooper, remembers him answering students’ questions in the same way as he answered the US president: seriously and thoroughly. 

For more information, read the obituary in The Harvard Crimson

See also: In Memoriam