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August 9, 1924 - September 7, 2012
Resident of Kensington, CA
Michael Conant, born Misha Cohen in Peoria Illinois on 9 August 1924, passed away peacefully at home on 7 December. After serving in the United States Army during WWII he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Economics. From there he attended the University of Chicago, where he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics; Milton Friedman was one of his Ph.D. examiners. At the suggestion of his girlfriend, Helene Mandel, Dr. Conant stayed on at the University of Chicago to earn a Doctorate of Law (JD). He remained a proud alumnus of the University of Chicago through out his life.
In 1948 Dr. Conant and Helene, an accomplished violist, married. Over the years, they traveled broadly and developed a large circle of devoted friends. Their interests included collecting ethnic art, chamber music, K9 companions, and stimulating conversation. They were married until her death in 2010.
They lived for three years in the Hyde Park district of Chicago while Mike worked at a private law firm. In 1954, Dr. Conant jointed the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as part of the Haas School of Business. He was known for his excellence as a teacher and his expertise in antitrust economics, law, and economic regulation. Prof. Conant was esteemed by his colleagues for his meticulous scholarship, intellectual integrity and willingness to challenge academic conventional wisdom on whatever subject he studied. Though retired in 1991, Professor Conant continued his scholarly endeavors including the publication of numerous journal articles and several highly respected books. His book The Constitution and Economic Regulation: Objective Theory and Critical Commentary published in 2008 was well received by scholars in the field.
Michael is survived by his sister, the artist Anita Segalman of Northridge California, many members of his extended family, and numerous good friends and colleagues.
Published in Inside Bay Area on Dec. 14, 2012