Nobel economist Samuelson dies, aged 94

Economist Paul Samuelson, who won a Nobel Prize for his effort to bring mathematical analysis into economics and helped shape tax policy for President Kennedy, has died at home aged 94.

Samuelson, who taught for decades at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, died at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts on Saturday, the school said in a statement announcing his death.

President Barack Obama's chief economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, is his nephew.

In 1970, Samuelson became just the second person, and first American, to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, created in 1968 by the Central Bank of Sweden. The other Nobels have been awarded since 1901.

The award citation said Samuelson "has done more than any other contemporary economist to raise the level of scientific analysis in economic theory."

A 1970 New York Times profile said his mind "possesses the agility of a Nijinsky and the endurance of a cross-country runner." When he won the Nobel, he said it was "nice to be recognized for hard work."

Samuelson was a liberal, and like many of his generation a follower of British economist John Maynard Keynes, who proposed that a nation needs an activist government that could foster low unemployment by steering tax and monetary policies, even if it meant deficit spending at times.