Lange, Oskar, 1904-1965

Alternative names
Birth 1904-07-27
Death 1965-10-02

Biographical notes:

Oskar Richard Lange was born on July 27, 1904 in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland to Arthur and Sophie (Rosner) Lange. He attended the University of Krakow, where he received a B.A. (1926) and a Masters of Law (Ll.D, 1928).

From 1926 to 1927 Lange worked at the Ministry of Labor in Warsaw. This was followed by a research assistantship at the University of Krakow (1927-1931).

Lange was an honorary lecturer in Statistics at the University of Krakow (1931), a lecturer in Economics at the University of Michigan (1936), an honorary lecturer in Statistics and Economics at the University of Krakow (1936), an honorary lecturer in Economics at the Polish free University in Warsaw (1937), and a lecturer in Economic at both the University of California and Stanford University (1937, 1937-1938). He had previously visited the United States from 1934 to 1937 under a Rockefeller Grant, where his studied at Harvard University and the University of Minnesota before returning to Poland.

On July 1, 1938 Lange began his appointment as an associate professor in the department of Economics at the University of Chicago, which would continue until 1945. He was well-known for his sociological approach to economic theory, and was the author of several books on economics and sociology. Lange and his wife, Irene Alice Oderfeld, became U.S. citizens in 1943. Their son, Christopher Stephen, was born on February 11, 1940.

Described by Chicago Daily News writer Edwin A. Lahey as "one of the big men at the second level of the Polish Communist hierarchy," Lange caused a bit of controversy when he interviewed Joseph Stalin in 1944. In 1945 he renounced his American citizenship to become a Polish citizen once more, becoming the first Polish Ambassador to the United States that same year. By the mid-1950s there was talk of Lange becoming the premier of Poland. In 1962 he returned to the University of Chicago to give a talk on "Planning Under Socialism." By 1962 his was the vice chairman of the Polish State Council.

Oskar Lange died in London on October 2, 1965.

From the guide to the Lange, Oskar. Papers, 1936-1944, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)


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