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Lawrence S(tanley) Ritter (1922-2004) Biography

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OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for SATA sketch: Born May 23, 1922, in New York, NY; died February 15, 2004, in New York, NY. Educator and author. An economist and New York University professor, as a writer Ritter was actually best remembered for his baseball book The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It (1966; revised edition, 1985). Earning his bachelor's degree from Indiana University in 1942, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a lieutenant junior grade. After the war, Ritter completed his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin in 1951. His first teaching job was at Michigan State University during the early 1950s. This was followed by five years as an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, after which time he joined New York University's Graduate School of Business Administration as a professor of finance in 1960. Ritter chaired his department from 1961 to 1969 and again from 1972 to 1980, eventually retiring in 1991. Although his professional background was in economics, Ritter always fostered a love of baseball that had been with him since childhood. His father had taken him to places like Ebbets Field and Yankee Stadium, and when he passed away in 1961 he decided to honor his father by writing a baseball book about the early days of the game. He traveled around the country, interviewing former players who had been around since the 1890s. He then compiled the interviews into The Glory of Their Times, which has been widely praised by critics and has become a bestselling sports book. Ritter wrote a number of baseball books afterwards, including The Story of Baseball (1983), Leagues Apart: The Men and Times of the Negro Baseball Leagues (1995), and The Babe: The Game that Ruth Built (1997); he was also the author of books about economics and finance, including Money and Economic Activity (1952; third edition, 1967), Principles of Money, Banking, and Financial Markets (1974; fifth edition, 1986), and The Flow of Funds Accounts: A Framework for Financial Analysis (1998).

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2004, p. B10.

New York Times, February 17, 2004, p. A21.

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