Rostow, W. W.
- Keene Ann T.
Rostow, W. W. (07 October 1916–13 February 2003), economist, was born Walt Whitman Rostow in New York City, one of three sons of Victor Rostow, a metallurgical engineer, and Lillian Helman Rostow. He was named after the American poet Walt Whitman, whom both his parents admired. Rostow's mother was the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants; his father, also Jewish, had himself emigrated from Russia in 1904. Like his older brother Eugene, who subsequently became dean of the Yale Law School, Walt Rostow was a precocious student. When he was eight the family moved to New Haven, Connecticut, home of Yale University, with the intention of eventually enrolling him there. Rostow was admitted to Yale at the age of fifteen, and he graduated with a B.A. before his twentieth birthday. He was named a Rhodes Scholar and spent two years at Oxford University. Returning to Yale for graduate study in economics in 1938, he earned a Ph.D. two years later, then joined the economics department at Columbia University as an instructor....