“Paul Alexander Baran 1910-1964,” [PDF] in Biographical Dictionary of Dissenting Economists, edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer (Brookfield, Vermont: Edward Elgar Publishing, 1992), pp. 22-29.
Paul Baran, the internationally acclaimed Marxist economist, was born on 8 December 1910 into a Jewish family in Nikolaev, Russia, on the Black Sea. His father was a medical doctor with ties to the Menshevik branch of the Russian Social Democratic party. The chaos rustling from the First World War and the Russian Revolution made it impossible to find a suitable school for Baran to attend and his education up to age 11 was entirely under his father’s tutelage. Dismayed by the continuing social disruption following the October Revolution, Baran’s family left the USSR in 1921, stopping briefly at his father’s ancestral home in Vilna, formerly part of Tsarist Russia and by that time part of Poland. Her his parents assumed Polish citizenship; as a minor entered on his mother’s passport, Baran received automatic Polish nationality which he was to retain until naturalized as an American citizen during the Second World War. The family then proceeded to Germany where Baran’s formal education began.