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R.V. Gilbert; F.D.R. Economics Adviser

October 13, 1985|Associated Press

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Richard V. Gilbert, an economics adviser in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Administration, has died at home at age 83.

He had been ill with cancer and suffered a heart attack 10 days before his death last Sunday.

Gilbert served as a speechwriter for Roosevelt on economic issues during World War II. Economist Walter Salant of the Brookings Institution in Washington once called Gilbert "the outstanding, unsung hero of American wartime economic policy."

He is credited, along with economist Robert Nathan, with persuading Roosevelt to boost aircraft and tank production and to accelerate merchant shipping.

Gilbert left teaching posts at Harvard University, Radcliffe and the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University to become economic adviser in 1939 to Secretary of Commerce Harry Hopkins. He went on to become economic adviser to the price administrator and director of research in the Office of Price Administration.

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