Julian L. Simon (1932-1998) was a free-market economist and business professor known for his optimism about the future of mankind. His groundbreaking research built the case for how human ingenuity would allow the environment to support the world’s increasing population over the long-term, demonstrating human beings are an asset to the planet, not a liability.

He authored the 1981 classic, The Ultimate Resource, which debunked eco-doomsayers’ predictions that modern civilization is unsustainable. Over the years, Simon argued that humans are living longer, that people are better fed and healthier, that resources are becoming ever more abundant, and that environmental quality is improving. His other works include The Economics of Population Growth; Effort, Opportunity, and Wealth; and Population Matters: People, Resources, Environment and Immigration

Simon was a professor of business administration at the University of Maryland at College Park.

In 2001, CEI established the Julian L. Simon Memorial Award in Simon’s honor. Learn more about the award and see award recipients here.