MacArthur Fellows Program

Lester R. Brown

Agricultural Economist | Class of 1986

Agricultural Economist
Washington, District of Columbia
52 at time of award
Published August 1, 1986

About Lester's Work

Lester Brown conducts research and writes about global environmental and related issues, including food, population, energy, and economic trends.

His interdisciplinary approach emphasizes interactions between the global economy and the natural systems and resources that support it.  His books include World Without Borders (1973), By Bread Alone (1974), The Twenty-Ninth Day (1978), Building a Sustainable Society (1981), Who Will Feed China? Wake-up Call for a Small Planet (1995), Tough Choices: Facing the Challenge of Food Scarcity (1996), Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth (2001), and Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble (2003).  He is the co-author of Saving the Planet: How to Shape an Environmentally Sustainable Global Economy (1991) and Full House: Reassessing the Earth’s Population-Carrying Capacity (1994).


Brown is president and senior researcher of the Earth Policy Institute, an organization he launched in 2001.  He served previously as president and senior researcher of the Worldwatch Institute, which he founded in 1974. 

Brown received a B.S. (1955) from Rutgers University, an M.S. (1959) from the University of Maryland, and an M.P.A. (1962) from Harvard University.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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