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Joseph Livingston, Pulitzer-Winning Financial Columnist, Dies at 84

December 27, 1989

PIPERSVILLE, Pa. (AP) _ Joseph A. Livingston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter whose ″Business Outlook″ column appeared in more than 50 newspapers across the country, has died at age 84.

Livingston’s wife, Rosalie, said she found her husband collapsed Monday near the doorway of their farmhouse in Pipersville, 35 miles north of Philadelphia. He was taken to Doylestown Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A hospital spokeswoman declined to give any details of Livingston’s death Tuesday.

″He was one of the outstanding journalists of his time,″ said Eugene L. Roberts Jr., executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and president of Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.

Livingston started his twice-weekly column in 1945 and used the Inquirer as his base from 1972 until his death. He also was financial editor of the now- defunct Bulletin in Philadelphia from 1948 to 1968, and held the same title briefly at the Philadelphia Record before that newspaper closed in 1947.

The Inquirer said Livingston’s twice-yearly survey of economists was one of the nation’s first consensus economic forecasts.

He won his Pulitzer in 1964 for a series of articles titled ″The Power Pull of the Dollar.″ They described how communist countries, particularly those of Eastern Europe, were being pulled toward the West by a variety of economic forces.

Livingston received a number of other awards in business journalism, including the Loeb Award four times, the Hancock Award three times and the Overseas Press Club award for excellence in business reporting from abroad three times.

Livingston said he developed an interest in economics after he and a group of friends got together one night and decided to invest jointly in the stock market. That was in September 1929. The stock market crashed the next month, heralding the Great Depression.

″I decided then that I ought to find out more about business and finance,″ Livingston once said.

He took courses at City College of New York and became editor of a business publication called the New York Daily Investment News.

In 1935, he became editor and economist at Business Week, a post he held for seven years. While there, he successfully argued in favor of writing about the U.S. interest in the war in Europe.

″I was a pariah among the isolationists,″ he said. ″But I said it was our war, that we should enter into it, that it would be a disaster for Hitler to win.″

After the United States entered the war, Livingston went to Washington to work as an economist for the War Production Board and later the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion.

He began his column in 1945, when his first client was The Washington Post. He started his survey of economists in 1946.

In 1978, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve computerized the information from Livingston’s previous surveys and today continues to produce the Livingston survey.

He is survived by his wife and a daughter, Patricia Herban, and a grandson.

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