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Noted Northwestern Economist Marcus Alexis Dies at Age 77

June 2, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Marcus Alexis, 77, professor emeritus of management & strategy at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and former chair of Northwestern’s economics department, died Wednesday (May 27) at the Stanford University Medical Center.
Mr. Alexis of Oakland, Calif., a former resident of Evanston, Ill., died from complications following surgery.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. June 5 at The Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland, Calif. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. June 6 at Mills College Chapel, Oakland.

A nationally recognized scholar, he was widely known for his expertise on urban economics and public policy (race and poverty in particular) and regulation and management strategy (especially surface transportation, rail and trucking).

Mr. Alexis was appointed director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 1985, served four years as deputy chairman and became chairman in 1990. He was appointed to the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, serving as commissioner, vice chairman and acting chairman over two years.

Mr. Alexis, who earlier held faculty posts at Macalester College, DePaul University and University of Rochester, joined Northwestern University in 1970 as professor of economics and served as chairman from 1976-79 and from 1982-85. He joined the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1985 as dean of the School of Business and returned to the Northwestern faculty in 1991 as Board of Trustees Professor of Economics, Management and Strategy and African-American Studies. From 1990-91 he co-chaired the Blue Ribbon Telecommunications Task Force of the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Mr. Alexis, who retired in 2005, authored or edited seven books and monographs and more than 60 articles and book chapters, making major contributions to his academic area. He also was a member of key Northwestern governance bodies. He served as a board member of TIAA-CREF.
He also was active on many professional committees and boards. He was a director of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the American Economic Association and the National Economic Association. He served on the boards of CILCORP, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago, and was a director of the Economics Club of Chicago and the Lincoln Park Zoological Society.
His honors include the Distinguished Achievement Award from the National Economic Association; Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota; and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Brooklyn College.
A native of New York City, he received an undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College, a master’s degree in economics from Michigan State University in 1954 and a doctorate in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1959. He did post-doctoral work at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Alexis is survived by his wife, Geraldine; daughter Hilary Alexis; sons Marcus II and Sean; and grandchildren Eliza, Myles and Cole.
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