- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Edward D.W. Spingarn, an economist and educator who specialized in Asian affairs in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 27 years, died May 7 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in the District. He was 93.

Joel Elias Spingarn Senior High School in Northeast is named after his father, who was a civil rights activist and distinguished literary scholar.

Born Oct. 22, 1911, in New York, Edward Spingarn spent his early years at his parents’ residence in Dutchess County, N.Y. He graduated from the Kent School in Kent, Conn., in 1929 and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1933.

He earned a master’s degree in modern history at Harvard University, then studied under economics professor F.A. von Hayek at the London School of Economics from 1935 to 1936. He returned to Harvard, where he earned a doctorate in economics in 1940.

From 1940 through 1941, Mr. Spingarn was an instructor in economics at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. He married Elizabeth Gray Morison on Jan. 25, 1941.

In 1940, while at Trinity, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Field Artillery Reserve. In January 1942, after the start of World War II, he was called to active duty and was assigned to the Signal Corps.

He served for two years in the China-Burma-India theater before returning home, suffering from hepatitis.

In July 1944, he was assigned to the Far Eastern Division, Research and Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency. He also served in the Joint Target Group at the Pentagon from April to August 1945.

After the war, he remained in the Army Reserve and retired in 1962 as a lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Spingarn returned to Trinity in 1946 as an assistant economics professor, then joined the IMF in Washington in 1947.

He was called to serve 17 months of active reserve duty in 1951 during the Korean War. As a strategic intelligence officer specializing in Indian and Pakistani army affairs, he helped draft a plan for the demilitarization of Kashmir for the United Nations.

Most of his work in the IMF was in the Asian Department, and at one time, he was in charge of the India desk. He retired from the agency in 1974, having traveled around the world 12 times in the performance of his IMF duties.

After retiring, he worked in Washington as a consultant to Accuracy in Media.

He was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Northwest and St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Seal Cove, Maine.

His wife of 56 years, Elizabeth, died in 1997. His son, Christopher Lewis Morison Spingarn, died on June 3, 2000, at the age of 58.

He is survived by a daughter, Phillida Morison Alcantar of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and a grandson.

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