Frank, Andre Gunder 1929–2005

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Frank, Andre Gunder 1929–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born February 24, 1929, in Berlin, Germany; died of cancer April 23, 2005, in Luxembourg. Economist, educator, and author. Frank was considered a radical economic theorist who proposed that struggling economies in Third World nations were the direct result of the predatory and exploitative practices of colonizing countries. Born in Berlin to Jewish parents, he moved with his family to Switzerland when Adolf Hitler rose to power. He earned his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1950, followed by graduate study at the University of Michigan and two more degrees, a master's and doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1952 and 1957 respectively. Frank spent much of his early life in various labor jobs, including work as a janitor, experiences he later cited as extremely educational about the ways in which society and economies worked. After earning his Ph.D., he taught at Michigan State University for four years. He spent the 1960s and early 1970s in faculty positions in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Canada, teaching subjects ranging from anthropology to history and sociology. During this time, Frank taught at the University of Brasilia, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the University of Chile, and Sir George Williams University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; he also spent a year as a visiting research fellow for UNESCO in Rio de Janeiro and worked as a journalist in Cuba in 1967, writing for the leftist Monthly Review. In the late 1960s he published three influential books that expressed his ideas of the negative social and economic impact of colonialism and post-colonial practices: Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America: Historical Essays of Chile and Brazil (1967; revised edition, 1969), Latin America: Underdevelopment or Revolution (1969), and Sociology of Development and Underdevelopment of Sociology (1969). His ideas in these books and earlier writings were credited by some for encouraging radicalism in Latin America, and as a result Frank was banned from entering the United States and Canada in 1965. While teaching at the University of Chile in 1973, the Marxist government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by General Augusto Pinochet, and Frank moved back to Berlin. He worked as a visiting research associate and fellow of the German Society for Peace and Conflict Research at the Max Planck Institute from 1974 to 1978, before accepting a professorship of development studies at the University of East Anglia. By 1983 he was on the move again, complaining that racism was still too prevalent in England for his taste. He next joined the University of Amsterdam, where he was a professor and director of the Institute for Socio-Economic Studies of Developing Regions until 1994. Forced into retirement at age sixty-five, he spent several years as a visiting professor at various North American universities. Throughout his career, Frank was a prolific writer, publishing over forty books, the last being 1998's ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age.



Guardian (Manchester, England), May 4, 2005, p. 29.

Independent (London, England), May 9, 2005, p. 34.

Times (London, England), May 25, 2005, p. 58.