Jack I. Stone

Econ­o­mist as­sisted in ef­forts to re­build Europe af­ter World War II and later ad­dressed the needs of poor coun­tries

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Jacques Kelly jacques.kelly@balt­sun.com

Jack I. Stone, a re­tired econ­o­mist who worked on the Mar­shall Plan in Ber­lin to re­build Europe af­ter World War II, died of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease com­pli­ca­tions Nov. 1 at As­sisted Liv­ing Well in Millersville. He was 98.

Born in St. Cloud, Minn., he was the son of Jonah Stone and his wife, Anna Teu­mim, who were Jewish im­mi­grants from Lithua­nia. His fa­ther owned a dry goods store.

“My fa­ther’s early years co­in­cided with the Great De­pres­sion, which helped fuel his in­ter­est in eco­nomic is­sues,” said Daniel Wal­ter Stone, his son. “His fam­ily was forced by eco­nomic ne­ces­sity to move first to Seat­tle, where he spent most of his for­ma­tive years, and then to Kansas City.”

Mr. Stone ob­tained a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in po­lit­i­cal sci­ence from the Univer­sity of Chicago. At the univer­sity, “he de­cided that most po­lit­i­cal is­sues were grounded in eco­nomic chal­lenges,” said his son, who lives in Dubai.

Mr. Stone joined the ef­fort to re­build Europe af­ter World War II. He was a civil­ian em­ployee of the U.S. mil­i­tary govern­ment in Ber­lin and Bonn, Ger­many, and was an econ­o­mist and statis­ti­cian for the High Com­mis­sion and Mar­shall Plan Agency. He worked over­seas un­til 1954 and wit­nessed the Ber­lin Air­lift, when the U.S. sup­plied food, wa­ter and medicine to Ber­lin by air when the Rus­sians block­aded sec­tions of the city.

“He flew on the air­lift planes, and the ex­pe­ri­ence was trau­matic,” his son said. “He took boats for a while af­ter that.”

Dur­ing that time, “there were fre­quent power out­ages and he learned to read by can­dle­light re­flected by alu­minum foil. He said the main cur­rency was cig­a­rettes,” his son said.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence gave him an early in­sight into prac­ti­cal chal­lenges in eco­nom­ics,” his son said. “It was an in­ter­est­ing time for him — a Jew in Ger­many af­ter the war. He spoke of peo­ple who came up and apol­o­gized to him for the treat­ment of Jews in the coun­try. But he spent most of his time fig­ur­ing how to get Ger­many back on its feet.

“My fa­ther was a prac­ti­cal per­son who was a big be­liever in sec­ond chances,” he said.

Mr. Stone re­turned to the U.S. in 1954 and re­ceived a mas­ter’s de­gree at the Grad­u­ate School of Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion at Har­vard Univer­sity as a Lit­tauer Fel­low. He also stud­ied in Har­vard’s Depart­ment of Eco­nom­ics.

While at school he met his fu­ture wife, Jane Liver­more, then a nurse at Mas­sachu- setts Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal. They mar­ried in 1965.

From 1959 to 1961, Mr. Stone worked in Puerto Rico for Fo­mento Eco­nomico, the eco­nomic devel­op­ment ad­min­is­tra­tion. He led stud­ies of U.S. in­vestor in­ter­est in man­u­fac­tur­ing.

He next taught eco­nom­ics at the Univer­sity of Min­nesota and worked on a Ford Foun­da­tion study of re­gional growth. Af­ter that he moved to Wash­ing­ton in 1963 and joined the State Depart­ment as a se­nior econ­o­mist at the U.S. Agency for In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment.

He later held posts in Paris for the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and Devel­op­ment, and helped ne­go­ti­ate an agree­ment on In­done­sian debt reschedul­ing.

Mr. Stone be­came head of re­search for the United Na­tions Con­fer­ence on Trade and Devel­op­ment in Geneva. He stud­ied the needs of the least de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing is­land coun­tries. He be­came a spe­cial­ist in ad­dress­ing the needs of poor coun­tries, his son said.

Af­ter his first re­tire­ment he moved to Ti­mo­nium, where he lived un­til settling in Millersville in 1988.

“You could not say he re­tired,” his son said. “He was an eco­nomic con­sul­tant who worked out of his house.”

Mr. Stone con­tin­ued to work un­til he was 95, and pre­sented a pa­per at the In­ter­na­tional Min­is­te­rial Con­fer­ence of Land­locked and Tran­sit De­vel­op­ing Coun­tries in Kaza­khstan in 2003. He was also a par­tic­i­pant at the 50th-an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions of the U.N. Con­fer­ence on Trade and Devel­op­ment, held in Geneva.

He was a pa­tron of the Enoch Pratt Free Li­brary, where he con­ducted re­search and spent time. He also en­joyed the Bal­ti­more Sym­phony Orches­tra and fol­lowed base­ball. He en­joyed French foods and of­ten dined at Les Folies Brasserie in An­napo­lis.

He be­longed to the Amer­i­can Eco­nomic As­so­ci­a­tion, the Na­tional Econ­o­mists Club, the Amer­i­can For­eign Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion, the Har­vard Club and the Na­tional Press Club.

“My fa­ther was a life­long learner, of­ten able to bond with peo­ple of var­ied in­ter­ests with de­tailed knowl­edge of their fields,” his son said.

Ser­vices will be held at 1 p.m. to­day at Hardesty Fu­neral Home-An­napo­lis,12 Ridgely Ave.

In ad­di­tion to his son, sur­vivors in­clude two grand­sons, Ja­cob Rafael Stone and Cody Juan Stone, both of Dubai. His wife of 35 years, a so­ci­ol­o­gist who worked on ag­ing is­sues, died in 2000. Jack Stone was a civil­ian em­ployee of the U.S. mil­i­tary dur­ing the Ber­lin Air­lift.

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