Harris Schlesinger

Harris Schlesinger died September 29, 2015 at age 63. Harris was Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Alabama and he held the Frank Park Samford Chair of Insurance. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He began his academic career as Assistant Professor of Economics at Vanderbilt University. He then became Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Illinois before taking his current position at the University of Alabama. He held editorial positions with the Journal of Risk and Insurance, the Geneva Risk and Insurance Review (for which he was a founding editor), and the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, among others. He received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from the University of Konstanz. He was one of the leading researchers in insurance economics and expected utility theory. His best papers are related to the effect of background risk on the attitude towards other independent risk and on asset pricing, to the interpretation of higher derivatives of the utility function, to optimal insurance demand and prevention, and to the so-called “newsboy problem”. Harris Schlesinger was a treasured colleague, and a charismatic leader of the European Group of Risk and Insurance Economists. He was especially generous in helping Ph.D. students around the world. Despite his formidable reputation as a scholar, he was very approachable and was constantly sought after for advice and research assistance. It was because of his talent as a scholar, teacher, mentor, and citizen of the academic community that the University of Alabama bestowed on him its highest faculty honor, the Burnum Distinguished Faculty Award.

His friends and colleagues

Publication Date: 
Monday, October 19, 2015