Norman Macrae

Macrae headshot
Norman Macrae (1923-2010) served in the Royal Air Force as a navigator in 1942-45 and went to Cambridge in 1945 to study economics, leaving his postgraduate studies without earning his Ph.D. when The Economist offered him a temporary job in 1949. He remained at The Economist until his retirement in 1988, as Assistant editor after 1954 and as Deputy editor after 1965. Macrae wrote over three thousand articles, mostly anonymous, and became respected for his often accurate forecasts. He took time off from The Economist to write eight books: in 1984 in The 2025 Report: A Future History of 1975-2025, he predicted “Eventually books, files, television programmes, computer information and telecommunications will merge. We’ll have this portable object which is a television screen with first a typewriter, later a voice activator attached.” His 1962 “Visiting Japan” pieces were the first to note the success of Japan’s postwar economy. In 1988, Macrae was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth and was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays by Japan’s Emperor.

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