John F. Henry

henry photo

John F. Henry, 77, died September 26, 2020 at his home in Kansas City, MO, following a long association with leukemia.

He was the son of Forrest J. and Beulah R. Henry (née Richard) of Red Hill, PA. He attended Upper Perkiomen High School and graduated from Muhlenberg College in 1965.  He subsequently attended McGill University, Montreal, receiving his M.A. in 1967 and his Ph.D. in 1974. He taught at California State University – Sacramento from 1970 through 2003 and thereafter at the University of Missouri – Kansas City until 2014. He finished his academic life as senior scholar at the Levy Economics Institute, Bard College, New York. 

Dr. Henry made contributions to heterodox economics, particularly in the fields of history of economic thought, economic history, and political economy. He is the author of two books, John Bates Clark (Macmillan, 1995) and The Making of Neoclassical Economics (Unwin Hyman, 1990; reprinted by Routledge, 2011). He published over 50 journal articles and book reviews, and he contributed to ten books of collected essays.

The CSUS School of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies awarded Dr. Henry the Outstanding Teacher Award in 1998 and the Outstanding Service Award in 2003.  In 2001 he was selected by the university to deliver the John C. Livingston Annual Faculty Lecture, the highest honor bestowed by the faculty of that institution.

Dr. Henry served various economics associations for many years, including as president of the Association for Institutional Thought, member of the Steering Committee of the International Confederation of Association for Pluralism in Economics, and member of the editorial boards of Forum for Social Economics and Journal of Economic Issues. More important than his published work was his role as an educator. His main objective in his teaching career was to help liberate the minds of students from the shackles of conventional thought.

Dr. Henry was married to Charlene Heinen, originally from Loose Creek, MO, for 41 years.  He has two daughters, Jennifer Woods (Tom) and Leith Henry, both of Sacramento, CA, from a previous marriage to Barbara Henry (née Brode) of Sumneytown, PA.  Predeceasing Dr. Henry were his parents and two sisters, Mary Jane Maley and Georgianna Kressly.

Memorial Contributions

Commemorative donations may be made to the Frederic S. Lee Heterodox Economics Scholarship Fund, in care of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, 1055 Broadway Blvd., Suite 130,
Kansas City, MO 64105.


  1. Karen Haslag and Roger Hurlbert on December 29, 2020 at 4:45 am

    We have known John for over forty years. He is a dear friend and we miss him very much. Condolences to his wife, Charlene, and his family.

  2. Kalpana Khanal on December 21, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    I met John as a graduate student at UMKC. I got to know him more when I took Consensus theory class with him. He was also one of my dissertation committee members. Dissertation phase is often a challenging phase in a graduate student’s life, it was extra challenging for me because I was a new mom at that time. I would meet with John whenever I needed some extra motivation to make progress with my dissertation. He was always the first person to read and comment on my chapters. Even after graduation I continued to send my manuscript to him, he was always generous with his time and comments. I am always grateful that he was a teacher, mentor and a friend with great sense of humor. He will be deeply missed.

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