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Nicholas Balabkin

Nicholas Balabkin

Nicholas Balabkin (17th of July 1926, Daugavpils, Republic of Latvia – 8th of May 2023, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA) – a scientist, a professor, a public figure.

N. Balabkin was born in Daugavpils, in a large family of an entrepreneur and a professional butcher Joseph (Jazeps) Balabkin. After finishing elementary school, he enrolled into Daugavpils College of Commerce, but did not finish the course. In 1940 the whole property of his father was nationalized. In the July of 1944 the family fled to Riga, and later to Germany. In august Nicholas was conscripted into Latvian Legion. After military actions in Pomerania, he surrendered to the Western allies. 

In 1946 he started his studies at Goettinghen University. Afterwards, he moved to the USA (1951) and enrolled into the Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he received his master's diploma (1953) and later (1956) also became a PhD in economics.

N. Balabkin read lectures at the universities of Germany, USA, Canada, Great Britain, Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia, Africa and Latvia, however, all his life was dedicated to the Lehigh University (Pennsylvania, USA), where he had been a professor from 1957 till 1994All together, he published 8 books and more than 40 articles in economics.

For his scientific and public activities N. Balabkin was elected a member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences (1991) and was awarded with the medal of Karlis Balodis, as well as received an award of the Lehigh University as an outstanding educator. In 2001 he was awarded by the Latvian Academy of Sciences for the considerable contribution into the science of economics and development of international connections. In 2002 he was awarded with the Order of Three Stars (4th class).

In 1995 he established Jazeps Balabkin's foundation, with the aim of supportinf talented youth of the Daugavpils State Gymnasium. 

N. Balabkin was a head of the foreign department of Latvian Academy of Sciences, president of the Union of Latvian Academic Teaching Staff and Scientists, member of Academic Union of Support of the Baltic Higher Educational Institutions, referent of the Institute of Latgalian Studies.

Member of student fraternity Beveronija. 

Nicholas Balabkin died at the age of 96 in Pennsylvania, USA. 

His life motto was a Latin phrase vive latens, which he himself interpreted as "live in the shadow, do your work, and never seek limelight."

The article was prepared by Ludmila Zhilvinsky.

Information sources: 

Barkovska G. Nikolajam Volfgangam Balabkinam - 80!//Latgales Laiks, 2006., 14. jūlijā.

Remembering Nicholas W. Balabkins, Former Professor of Economics and Economic Theorist.

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