William Jack Baumol was born in the South Bronx, New York on February 22, 1922. He served in the Army during World War II and got a job at the Agriculture Department, where he worked on allocating grain supplies to starving countries. He graduated from City College and enrolled in the London School of Economics in 1947, after initially being rejected. Less than six weeks after school started, he was hired to become a member of the faculty. He taught at Princeton University from 1949 until 1970 and then taught at New York University from 1971 until his retirement in 2014. As an economist, he identified Baumol's cost disease, which explains why the cost of services, like haircuts and college educations, rises faster than the cost of goods, like T-shirts. He published dozens of books, hundreds of papers, and several congressional testimonies on entrepreneurs, environmental policy, corporate finance, stock sales, the economics of Broadway theaters, inflation, and competition and monopolies. He died on May 4, 2017 at the age of 95.
William G. Bowen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 6, 1933. He received a bachelor's degree in economics in 1955 from Denison University and a doctorate from Princeton University. The university hired him as an assistant professor and promoted him to full professor in 1965. He was the director of graduate studies at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton from 1964 to 1966. He was the president of the university from 1972 to 1988. While president, he pressed elite colleges to give preference to poor and minority applicants and oversaw the first admission of women to Princeton University. He wrote or co-wrote about two dozen books during his lifetime including The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions, Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, and The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values. His memoir, Lessons Learned: Reflections of a University President, was published in 2011. In 2012, he received the National Humanities Medal for putting "theories into practice" in economics and higher education. He died from colon cancer on October 20, 2016 at the age of 83.