Baylor Mourns Loss of Alumnus, Respected Economist and Educator

  • News Photo 4923
    Richard Goode
  • News Photo 4922
    Richard Goode
Aug. 5, 2010

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Esteemed economist, educator and civil servant Dr. Richard Benjamin Goode of Washington, D.C., passed away July 18 at the age of 93. Goode will be remembered not only for his extraordinary career and significant contributions to the field of economics but also for his generous philanthropic spirit and his deep loyalty to Baylor University and its students.

"Dr. Goode was a remarkable person, and he will certainly be missed by the Baylor community and all who knew him," said Bill Dube, director of Baylor's Endowed Scholarship Program. "He once shared with me that his life would've looked completely different if he had not had the opportunity to attend Baylor through scholarship support. Dr. Goode had such warm feelings toward the university, and we remain extremely grateful for the foresight he had in giving countless Baylor students the opportunity to share the experience."

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, during the Great Depression, Goode was the only member of his immediate family to earn a college degree. After graduating from Baylor with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1937, he went on to earn a master's degree at Kentucky State University in 1939 and his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin in 1947.

Washington, D.C., became Goode's longtime home in 1941, when he began his career as an economist at the U.S. Bureau of Budget and the U.S. Treasury Department. Goode later transitioned to the role of assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught for four years in one of the top economic programs in the world.

In 1951, Goode left his faculty position and moved back to Washington, D.C., joining the research department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At the time, the IMF was only a few years old and was mainly focused on the financial problems of the major industrial countries, but Goode already recognized the importance of financial stabilization and reform in developing countries. This foresight resulted in Goode being asked to serve as the first director of the Fiscal Affairs Department when it was established in 1965 to help countries that were emerging from colonialism to establish effective systems of expenditure and taxation.

Goode retired from that position in 1981, but the department is still functioning, and he is still remembered affectionately as its founder, even by those who never knew him.

During his distinguished career, Goode served as consultant to the U.S. Treasury Department, the United Nations and the Brookings Institution, where he was also Guest Scholar. Well known and revered as an expert in his field, he filled the role of professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins University for seven years before retiring in 1988. Goode authored several books on topics ranging from the U.S. income tax system to financial assistance in developing countries, and he published nine articles in the prestigious American Economic Review, along with many publications in other outlets.

In 1997, Goode was awarded the Holland Medal for contributions to the study and practice of public finance. He was also listed in Who's Who in the East and Who's Who in America.

Motivated by gratefulness for the scholarship support he received as a student and the role Baylor professors played in preparing him for his career, Goode, along with his wife, Liesel, established an endowed scholarship fund at Baylor in 1999. The Richard and Liesel Goode Endowed Academic Scholarship Fund will benefit worthy Baylor students across the disciplines in perpetuity.

For his gifts to endowed scholarships, Goode was recognized in Baylor's Endowed Scholarship Society. He also was recognized as a Library Fellow and provided generous support to numerous areas across the university, including the Library Book Endowment Fund, the Arts and Sciences General Fund, the Reynolds Endowment University Advancement Fund and many others. Faithfully looking toward the future for his beloved alma mater, Goode was a member of the Old Main Society.

Goode was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 58 years, Liesel Gottscho Goode.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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