In terms of economic philosophy, Professor Samuelson calls himself "a 'modern' economist in the right wing of the Democratic New Deal economists. He was born in Gary, Indiana, in 1915. He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Chicago University in 1935, and the degrees of Master of Arts in 1936, and Doctor of Philosophy in 1941 from Harvard University. He was a Social Science Research Council predoctoral fellow from 1935-1937, a member of the Society of Fellows, Harvard University, 1937-1940, and a Ford Foundation Research Fellow from 1958-1959. He received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Chicago University and Oberlin College in 1961, and from Indiana University and East Anglia University in 1966.
He was awarded the David A. Wells Prize in 1941 by Harvard University, and the John Bates Clark Medal by the American Economic Association in 1947, as the living economist under forty "who has made the most distinguished contribution to the main body of economic thought and knowledge." Even while a graduate student at Harvard, he had already won international renown and had made significant contributions to economic theory.
Confronted by contradictions, overlaps, and fallacies in the classical language of economics, he sought unification - and clarification - in mathematics. In his first major work, Foundations of Economic Analysis, published in 1947, he demonstrated that this approach worked. His Economics: An Introductory Analysis, first published in 1948, has become the best selling economics textbook of all time. He was co-author of Readings in Economics, published in 1955, and has co-authored numerous other works in the field. His latest book is Linear Programming and Economic Analysis, written in collaboration with Robert Dorfman and Robert Solow and sponsored by a grant from the Rand Corporation.