Sidney Stuart Alexander

Sidney Stuart Alexander
May 3, 1916 - February 19, 2005

Sidney Stuart Alexander died February 19 in Belmont, Massachusetts at the age of 88. A long time resident of Belmont, in recent years he divided his time between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Martha's Vineyard.

Born in Forest City Pennsylvania in 1916, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Harvard College in 1936. Continuing at Harvard University, he received a master's degree in 1938 and a doctorate in 1946.

During World War II he served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) where he was the Director of Research on the Economic Basis of the Military Capability of the European Enemy Countries.

After World War II, Dr. Alexander consulted to the Department of State and to the Economic Cooperation Administration (The Marshall Plan Agency) on the probable costs of the Marshall plan and advised on its initiation. From 1949 to 1952 he served on the staff of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC. He then became Economic advisor to the Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. (CBS) where he provided economic analysis of the then-emerging business of commercial broadcast television.

From 1956 until his retirement Professor Alexander taught at MIT, in both the Sloan School of Management and the Economics Department.

In 1966 he prepared the "Study of Costs of a Nationwide Educational Television System" for the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television. The Commission's report, Public Television: A Program for Action, popularized the phrase "public television" and assisted the legislative campaign for federal aid to the field which led to the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and to the creation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Predeceased by his wife, Edna Simon, they had been married for 49 years.

He is survived by his children Tatiana Benharbone, Daniel Alexander, and Miriam Alexander Baker, and by his companion Jane Z. Haskell.

An interesting letter he wrote while in Europe before the war can be found here.

A list of his publications is available here.

If anyone has memories of Sidney that they would like to share, please mail them to Miriam's husband at, and they will be posted here.

Revised: $Date: 2006/12/17 21:21:12 $

Free counters provided by Andale.