Willard Thorp

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Economist Willard Thorp testifies at public hearings of the Joint Congressional Executive Monopoly Committee (December 2, 1938)

Willard Long Thorp (1899–1992) was an economist and academic who served three US Presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower as an advisor in both domestic and foreign affairs. He helped draft the Marshall Plan and was also prominent in business and education.[1]


He was born on 24 May 1899 in Oswego, New York. He was raised in Chelsea, Massachusetts and Duluth, Minnesota. In 1939 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.[2]

He was Assistant Secretary of State under Truman for Economic Affairs 1946–1952;[1] a member of the U.S. delegation serving as special adviser on economic matters at the Paris Peace Conference of 1946;[1] special adviser on economic matters at the New York meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in 1946;[3] and American representative to the United Nations General Assembly, 1947–48.[3]

He came under great strain during the McCarthy 'witch-hunt' investigations into alleged Communists 1950–1954[3] and eventually resigned, becoming a professor at Amherst College again instead.[1]

He died on 10 May 1992 in Pelham, Massachusetts.


  • Business Annals (New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc., 1926)


  1. ^ a b c d Lambert, Bruce (May 11, 1992), "Willard L. Thorp, 92, Economist Who Helped Draft Marshall Plan", New York Times.
  2. ^ View/Search Fellows of the ASA, accessed 2016-07-23.
  3. ^ a b c McKinzie, Richard D.; Wilson, Theodore A. (July 10, 1971), Oral History Interview with Willard L. Thorp, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, retrieved 2015-03-02.

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