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Thorstein Veblen
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    (July 30, 1857-August 3, 1929)
    Born in Cato, Wisconsin
    Economist and sociologist
    Critic of capitalism
    Professor at the University of Chicago (1892-1906), Stanford (1906-11) and the University of Missouri (1911-18)
    Co-founder of the New School of Social Research (1919)
    Wrote 'The Theory of the Leisure Class' (1899) and 'The Theory of Business Enterprise' (1904)
    He was allegedly fired by Stanford University for his womanizing.
    His lecture style, heavy on mumbling and digressions, drove away students.
    His house was usually a mess, with unmade beds and dirty dishes.
    Many of the examples of behavior in primitive societies that he used to illustrate his theories were made up.
    'The Theory of the Leisure Class' was intended as a serious economic work but became a hit as a social satire.
    He initially had trouble finding a job in academia after graduating from Yale due to anti-Norwegian prejudice.
    Due to his wide-ranging interests, he was known as 'the last man to know everything.'
    He coined the phrase 'conspicuous consumption.'
    Albert Einstein said he owed 'innumerable happy hours' to the reading of Veblen's work.

Credit: C. Fishel

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