Weyl, Nathaniel 1910–2005

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Weyl, Nathaniel 1910–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born July 20, 1910, in New York, NY; died April 13, 2005, in Ojai, CA. Economist and author. Weyl, who spent most of his career as a freelance writer, came into the spotlight in 1952, when he testified against former government official Alger Hiss, who was accused of being a spy for the Soviets. The son of New Republic cofounder Walter Edward Weyl, he was a progressive thinker as a young man and active in leftist student groups while attending Columbia University. After graduating from Columbia in 1931 and doing graduate work at the London School of Economics, he worked as an economist for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. He became active in communist organization activities during much of the 1930s but later abandoned communism. From 1940 to 1941, he worked for the Federal Reserve, and then was a special assistant at the Board of Economic Welfare for two years. Enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1943, Weyl was discharged in 1945 and joined the Office of International Trade. His last job as an economist came in 1948, when he worked for the Commission on Refugee Settlement in Surinam. Weyl then became a freelance writer, gaining critical attention with Treason: The Story of Disloyalty and Betrayal in American History (1950). As someone who had known Hiss in the 1930s, Weyl was called as a witness in Hiss's trial, during which he testified that he had seen Hiss at more than one communist organization meeting. Hiss was not found guilty of espionage but was sentenced to several years in prison for perjury. Weyl went on to publish many more political nonfiction works, including Red Star over Cuba: The Russian Assault on the Western Hemisphere (1960; third edition, 1962), "Traitors" End: The Rise and Fall of the Communist Movement in Southern Africa (1970), Karl Marx: Racist (1979), and The Geography of American Achievement (1989); he also published a collection of poetry titled Sarpedon (1993). In addition to his writings, Weyl was also a former president of the International Foundation for Gifted Children.



New York Times, May 8, 2005, p. A24.