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Esther Lowenthal

Esther Lowenthal’s long career teaching economics at Smith explored subjects from government spending and taxation to the theories of socialist economists. Lowenthal graduated Bryn Mawr College in 1905 and studied at Oxford University before earning her PhD from Columbia University in 1911. Her dissertation examined how utopian ideals and scientific theories influenced socialist economists working between 1820–1840. In 1911 she began teaching at Smith College, where she worked until her retirement in 1952. She served as dean of the faculty from 1946–1948 and chaired both the department of economics and the Council on Industrial Studies. Specializing in public finance, she often lectured to the larger community on economic issues like taxes, New Deal programs, and government oversight of industry. She adopted a Spanish orphan through the Foster Parents’ Plan for War Children and bequeathed $5,000 to United Way in her will. In 1950, her colleagues and former students endowed a scholarship in her name.

More on Esther Lowenthal
Date of Birth
September 15, 1883
Place of Birth
Rochester, New York
Date of Death
May 18, 1980

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Esther Lowenthal." (Viewed on November 13, 2018) <>.


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