John Kenneth "Ken" Galbraith OC (15 October 1908 - 29 April 2006) was a Canadian and later, U.S. economist, public official and diplomat, and a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism. He was a Keynesian and an institutionalist. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s and he filled the role of public intellectual from the 1950s to the 1970s on matters of economics.
Galbraith was a prolific author who wrote four dozen books and over a thousand articles on various subjects. Among his most famous works was a popular trilogy on economics, American Capitalism (1952), The Affluent Society (1958), and The New Industrial State (1967). He taught at Harvard University for many years. Galbraith was active in Democratic Party politics, serving in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; he served as United States Ambassador to India under Kennedy. His prodigious literary output meant he was arguably the best known economist in the world during his lifetime and was one of few recipients of the Medal of Freedom, in 1946, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2000, for services to economics. The government of France made him a Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur.