Robert A. McGuire, long-time member of the Economic History Association and the Cliometric Society passed away in March of 2023. He was born in Long Beach, California and grew up in nearby Lakewood. After spending most of his career in the Midwest, he retired to Southern California. He was an outdoor enthusiast and avid traveler, he had a passion for fine wine, good conversation, and celebrating life with family and friends.
He earned his PhD in economics from the University of Washington in 1978. He began his career at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana before moving to the University of Akron, where he spent the bulk of his career, first as a Professor of Economics and since 2010 as an Adjunct Research Professor. Along the way he held visiting positions at UC-Berkeley, UCLA, UC-Davis, Ohio State, Washington State, and UC Santa Cruz.
His research interests were multi-faceted and featured a historical bent. He was interested in examining economic development issues that integrated disciplines ranging from economics and history to politics and biology. He authored numerous articles and books, including To Form A More Perfect Union: A New Economic Interpretation of the United States Constitution, and Parasites, Pathogens, and Progress: Diseases and Economic Development (with Philip Coelho), which integrated biological and economic perspectives into an explanation of the historical development of humanity and the economy.