Princeton University economist Alan Krueger, who served as a top economic adviser to Presidents Obama and Clinton, committed suicide Saturday, according to his family. He was 58.
“It is with tremendous sadness we share that Professor Alan B. Krueger, beloved husband, father, son, brother, and Princeton professor of economics took his own life over the weekend,” the family said.
“The family requests the time and space to grieve and remember him. In lieu of flowers, we encourage those wishing to honor Alan to make a contribution to the charity of their choice.”
The university did not provide a cause of death in its own statement, but called him “a true leader in his field, known and admired for both his research and teaching.”
Princeton added: “In addition to his scholarship, Alan’s life exemplified a commitment to public service.”
Krueger was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Obama from 2011 to 2013, and was an economist at the U.S. Labor Department under Clinton.
In a statement, Obama called Krueger “a fundamentally good and decent man.”
“Alan was someone who was deeper than numbers on a screen and charts on a page,” Obama said. “He saw economic policy not as a matter of abstract theories, but as a way to make people’s lives better.”
He noted, “Through it all, he had a perpetual smile and a gentle spirit — even when he was correcting you.”
“He spent the first two years of my administration helping to engineer our response to the worst financial crisis in 80 years and to successfully prevent the chaos from spiraling into a second Great Depression,” Obama added. “He helped us return the economy to growth and sustained job creation, to bring down the deficit in a responsible way and to set the stage for wages to rise again.”
Clinton tweeted: ‘Alan Krueger was a brilliant economist for the public interest – from his research proving that raising the minimum wage doesn’t increase unemployment, to his recent work showing that America’s opioid epidemic has increased it.
“My thoughts are with his family. We lost him too soon.”
Krueger was a Bruce Springsteen fan, and wrote a book due out in June about the wealth gap in pop music, titled: “Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour of What the Music Industry Can Teach Us about Economics and Life.”
Krueger is survived by his wife Lisa, and his two adult children, Benjamin and Sydney.