1996 Right Livelihood Laureate Herman Daly passed away on October 28, 2022.

Herman Daly

Awarded 1996


For defining a path of ecological economics that integrates the key elements of ethics, quality of life, environment and community.

Herman Daly (1938-2022) was an economist from the USA, who made significant contributions to increase the understanding of the relationship between economy, ecology and ethics. Daly was the author of many books and has published over 100 articles in scholarly journals and magazines.

Daly has done a masterly synthesis of the application of classical concepts of capital and income to resources and the environment, the laws of thermodynamics, and the insights of ecology, particularly concerning levels of flows of materials and energy through economic systems. This synthesis has resulted in a leap in understanding why dominating economic systems are destroying the environment. Daly’s insights have deeply influenced the debate about what should be done about it.

In 1989, Daly was one of the key figures when the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) was founded. ISEE is a leading forum linking economists and ecologists, as well as academics and activists. Up to his death on October 28, 2022, Daly was a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.



Globalization requires that for a nation to be rich, the majority of its citizens must be poor, increase in number, and live in a deteriorating environment.

Herman Daly, 1996 Laureate

Herman Daly graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1967, became an Associate Professor at Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1968 and a full professor there in 1973. In 1976 he was a recipient of the university's Distinguished Research Master Award. He was an Alumni Professor of Economics at LSU from 1983 to 1988.

During his time at LSU Daly was also Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Ceará, Brazil (1968), a research associate at Yale University (1969-70), Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Resources and Environmental Studies of the Australian National University (1980) and a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Brazil (1983). From 1988 to 1994, he was Senior Economist in the Environment Department of the World Bank, and since 1994 he has been Senior Research Scholar at the School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland. Through ISEE 'ecological economics' is coming to be perceived as distinct from conventional 'environmental economics' and is gaining credibility as a discipline in its own right.

In 1996, Daly received the Heineken Prize for Environmental Science awarded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1999 the Norwegian Sophie Prize. In 2001, he received the Leontief Prize for advancing the frontiers of economic thought, and in 2002 the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic. In 2010, he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the National Council for Science and the Environment. Not many economists choose a theologian as co-author, as Daly did with John Cobb, in their joint work, For the Common Good.

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