Professor Emeritus Michael Conant, a Haas faculty member for more than three decades whose research spanned the fields of law and economics, passed away at his Kensington home Dec. 7. He was 88 years old.
Born Misha Cohen in Peoria, Ill., on Aug. 9, 1924, Conant served in the U. S. Army during World War II and then attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning a BS degree in economics. From there he attended the University of Chicago, where he earned a doctor of philosophy degree in economics, with Nobel laureate Milton Friedman serving as one of his PhD examiners. At the suggestion of his girlfriend, Helene Mandel, Conant stayed on at the University of Chicago to earn a doctorate of law (JD).
In 1948, Conant and Mandel, an accomplished violist, married and remained together until Mandel’s death in 2010. They lived for three years in the Hyde Park district of Chicago while Conant worked at a private law firm. In 1954, Conant joined the faculty of UC Berkeley’s business school. He was known for his excellence as a teacher and his expertise in antitrust economics, law, and economic regulation.
Conant continued his scholarly endeavors after his retirement in 1991, continuing to publish numerous journal articles and several highly respected books. His 2008 book The Constitution and Economic Regulation: Objective Theory and Critical Commentary was well-received by scholars in the field.
Conant is survived by his sister, Anita Segalman of Northridge, Calif; many members of his extended family; and numerous good friends and colleagues. Friends and colleagues are invited to attend a memorial service Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. at the home of Dan Segalman, Conant’s nephew. Please RSVP to Ruth Ancheta, Conant’s niece, with the number of people in the party: firstname.lastname@example.org, (262) 893-7561.