- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Murray Weidenbaum, a White House economic adviser who counseled five U.S. presidents before returning to academia, has died. He was 87.

His death on Thursday was announced by Washington University in St. Louis, where he worked for decades and continued to teach until a few weeks ago. The school did not reveal the cause of death.

Weidenbaum, a fiscal conservative, was the first chairman of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, playing a pivotal role in shaping the deregulation-driven philosophy that became known as “Reaganomics.” Weidenbaum resigned from the role after just two years over disagreements with the Reagan administration’s growing budget deficits.

The Bronx native and graduate of City College of New York, Columbia University and Princeton University worked in the administrations of Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower in what was then known as the U.S. Bureau of the Budget. He was the first assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy under President Richard Nixon and advised President George H.W. Bush on environmental policy.

He taught at Stanford University before joining Washington University in 1964, shuttling between St. Louis and the nation’s capital as the succession of chief executives sought his advice. In 2001, Washington University renamed its Center for the Study of American Business the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy.

“Murray Weidenbaum was an important and influential economist, a great educator and scholar, and a wonderful colleague,” said Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “Washington University was fortunate to have him as a part of our community for so long.

“He was a wise and trusted university colleague for about 50 years, and we have many reasons to be proud of the ongoing scholarship that takes place at the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University.”

The university has created a distinguished professorship in economics in Weidenbaum’s name, Wrighton said. His academic colleagues included former U.S. Senator Tom Eagleton of Missouri, with whom he taught courses in economics, business and government.

He is survived by his wife Phyllis, of Clayton, Mo.; son, Jim, of Portland, Ore.; a sister, Marilyn Cohen, of Silver Spring, Md.; daughters Susan Juster-Goldstein, of Delray Beach, Fla., and Laurie Stark, of Olivette, Mo.; and six grandchildren.

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