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Remembering Henry Goldstein

The Department of Economics mourns the loss of our long-time colleague, Professor Emeritus Henry Goldstein. Henry passed away on January 25, his 92nd birthday.

Henry Neil Goldstein was born in Hampton, Virginia, the oldest son of Alfred and Gertrude Goldstein on January 25, 1930. He attended public schools in Hampton before going off to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, at the very young age of 16. There he first boarded with much older GI’s fresh back from the war. They lived in temporary housing. At UNC, he joined a Jewish fraternity and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

After college, Henry attended naval officer’s training school and became a petty officer in the US Navy, serving both on an aircraft carrier and on a smaller destroyer. He did not face combat in Korea and was thankful for that.

Upon leaving the Navy, Henry entered the PhD program in economics at Johns Hopkins University, where his classmates included future Nobelist Merton Miller and his faculty included Fritz Machlup. Prior to completing his dissertation, he accepted a position at the Federal Reserve in DC, where he met and married his first wife, Rochelle Cashdan. Rochelle had been to Girl Scout camp in Washington state as a child, and when an opening appeared at Washington State University in Pullman, Henry applied and was hired as an assistant professor. Henry completed his dissertation while at WSU and was hired by the University of Oregon Department of Economics in 1967, where he remained until his retirement in 1997. While at the UO, he joined a cluster of researchers who helped lead the development of modern portfolio theory, including Gerry Bierwag, Mike Grove, George Kaufman, and Chulsoon Khang. Henry was himself among the first to integrate portfolio theory in international finance models of exchange rates. Through the course of his UO career he went on to publish his research in such prestigious outlets as the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Journal of Finance. He also served as department head from 1977 to 1980. His family members fondly recall his great amusement at co-authoring a never-finished textbook featuring “BC” cartoons, and the joy he derived from taking part in a heated debate on exchange rates with Milton Friedman.

Henry and Rochelle divorced in the mid-80’s. Henry met his second wife, Karen Hemmingsen, in Eugene and they married in
the early 1990s. Rochelle passed away in 2015 and Karen passed in 2019.

Henry was forever full of enthusiasm for what he considered the good things in life: making a perfect omelette a la Julia Child with his exclusive pan, playing tennis in search of an ace, beaming with pride at the successes of his sons, and taking out a red pen to excise each and every unnecessary word, whether they be in his own writings, those of his colleagues, those of his students, or those of his own children.

Henry also had a passion for adventure – which for him consisted of answering advertisements listed in the back pages of the Economist magazine and on occasion taking on temporary appointments overseas, sometimes far overseas. Twice he and his family spent a year in England, first in Nottingham and then in East Sussex. Later in his career, Henry served as an IMF-sponsored economist at the Bank of Papua New Guinea and later in Ghana.

Henry is survived by his two sons, Jonathan of Jackson Heights, NY, and Joshua of Berkeley, CA, and his younger brother, James of Manhattan, NY, as well as two daughters-in-law, Matty and Barbara, and four grandchildren: Josephine, Susanne, Miriam, and David.