Louis Rukeyser died May 2 at the age of 73 after a battle with rare bone-marrow cancer, multiple myeloma. The host of public TV’s Wall $treet Week With Louis Rukeyser from 1970 to 2002, Rukeyser helped popularize economics and finance with memorable puns, bringing average viewers the difficult, sometimes boring but always pertinent subjects of finance and economics. His show had the largest audience in the history of financial journalism.
Born in New York on Jan. 30, 1933, Rukeyser graduated from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1954. He was a political and foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun papers, chief political correspondent for the Evening Sun, chief of the Sun’s London Bureau and chief Asian correspondent. Rukeyser also worked at ABC News as a senior correspondent and commentator, serving as Paris correspondent and chief of the London bureau.
His show on Maryland Public Television, Wall $treet Week, began in 1970. After more than three decades, the network reportedly fired him for using airtime to complain about its producers. In March 2002, he separated himself, though not the show, from the public station, and Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street premiered on CNBC as well as on selected PBS stations. He went on medical leave after his last show appearance Oct. 31, 2003.
Though his show continued with alternate hosts, Rukeyser later that year asked CNBC to cease production. Maryland Public Television also cancelled Wall $treet Week in 2005.
Rukeyser is survived by his wife, Alexandra, and three daughters.