Career / Academic – Class of 1943
Anthony (Tony) Radspieler didn’t just do well, he did it better. The youngest son of Austrian immigrants, Tony felt driven to succeed. He graduated from 8th grade from Stone School at the age of 11 and from Grand Haven High School at the age of 16.
Too young to enroll in college, he joined the Merchant Marines as a radio officer and served in the Pacific Theater during WWII. After military service, he attended Michigan State University. Radspieler earned a B.A. in sociology and anthropology in 1950 and his PhD in economics, in the German language, at the University of Zurich in Switzerland in 1954.
Like much of his life, Radspieler’s first job focused on helping people. Working with the American Friends Service in Germany, he helped re-settle WWII refugees and later worked with the High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, establishing new refugee eligibility procedures in accord with the Geneva Convention.
In 1959, he was appointed to the Foreign Service staff of the State Department in Washington as an economic research adviser, and, in 1963, President John F. Kennedy appointed him as U.S. Economic Consul to Germany. He continued in the State Department as a regional and international economist and Senior Policy Analyst. He spent many years at the Department of Commerce in Washington D.C. as an economist at the Department of Policy Planning. He wrapped up 41 years of federal service working on foreign trade issues with the Census Bureau, focusing on the impact of NAFTA on the U.S. Economy.
Even though he traveled to far-away lands during his career, Radspieler never forgot his family. He would always bring special gifts upon his return home.
The gift he leaves now, is his legacy. Anthony Radspieler passed away on August 8, 2013 at the age of 87.