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Jones, authority on African agricultural economy, dies

STANFORD -- William O. Jones, 82, emeritus professor at Stanford's Food Research Institute and a leading authority on the agricultural economy of tropical Africa, died June 17 at a Palo Alto nursing home. Jones had been in declining health as the result of a recent fall.

Plans for services are pending.

Jones was born in Lincoln, Neb., and received his bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Nebraska in 1932. After graduating, he spent several years in industry and was a pre-flight instructor for Army Air Corps pilots during World War II.

In 1947, Jones earned his doctoral degree in economics from Stanford and joined the Food Research Institute, which was founded in 1921 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to study worldwide problems of food supply, distribution and consumption.

He was appointed director of the institute in 1964 and was succeeded in 1972 by Professor Walter P. Falcon. From 1972 to 1975, he served as editor of Food Research Institute Studies.

Jones was an authority on manioc root -tapioca - which forms a major part of the African agricultural economy, especially in the Congo. His writings include Manioc in Africa, and Marketing Staple Food Crops in Tropical Africa, as well as numerous professional articles.

Jones served as a consultant to the World Bank, the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, and the United States Agency for International Development.

He also was a founding member and president of the African Studies Association, and president of the Western Economic Association. His numerous other professional organizations included the Advisory Council on Africa of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Joint Committee on African Studies of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Jones lived on the Stanford campus. He is survived by his wife, Kay, and three sons.



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