"John Kenneth Galbraith, the iconoclastic economist, teacher and diplomat and an unapologetically liberal member of the political and academic establishment that he needled in prolific writings for more than half a century, died yesterday at a hospital in Cambridge, Mass. He was 97.
Galbraith lived in Cambridge and at an "unfarmed farm" near Newfane, Vt. His death was confirmed by his son J. Alan Galbraith.
Galbraith was one of the most widely read authors in the history of economics; among his 33 books was "The Affluent Society" (1958), one of those rare works that forces a nation to re-examine its values. He wrote fluidly, even on complex topics, and many of his compelling phrases - among them "the affluent society," "conventional wisdom" and "countervailing power" - became part of the language. An imposing presence, lanky and angular at 6 feet 8 inches tall, Galbraith was consulted frequently by national leaders, and he gave advice freely, though it may have been ignored as often as it was taken. Galbraith clearly preferred taking issue with the conventional wisdom he distrusted".