George Goodman, the celebrated financial journalist who hosted the PBS documentary series Adam Smith’s Money World for 13 years, died Jan. 3 in his Miami home. He was 83.
Under the pseudonym of the 18th-century free market economist, Goodman used his half-hour program to dissect tricky financial topics for viewers. The series ran from 1983-97 and garnered multiple Emmys. Goodman, who profiled figures such as investor Warren Buffett on his program, was an early pioneer of a colorful, irreverent style of economics reporting that looked beyond statistics to more colorful indicators of financial success.
Prior to his TV show, Goodman held several top journalistic jobs, including as a founding writer of New York magazine and an executive editor of Esquire. Goodman helped write the screenplay for his novel The Wheeler Dealers, which in 1963 was made into a feature film starring James Garner. His first nonfiction book, The Money Game, was a bestseller in 1968.
An editor at New York bestowed the pseudonym Adam Smith on Goodman so that he could report on Wall Street anonymously in the 1960s. He hated the name at first, but soon made it his calling card, according to an interview in the New York Times.
In 2000, the TJFR Group and MasterCard International named Goodman one of the 100 “Business News Luminaries of the Century.”
He died from complications from acute myeloid leukemia, according to a family member.
Goodman is survived by his partner, Lynda Richards, two children and three grandchildren. His wife, actress Sally Brophy, died in 2007.