John Conway O’Brien, Ph.D.

WWII prisoner of war, educator and academician John Conway O'Brien, Ph.D., passed away Jan. 11, 2011. The eldest of five siblings, he was born in Scotland to Mary Hunt O’Brien and Patrick O'Brien.


John’s life of adventure and accomplishments took him around the world. During retirement, he chose Scottsdale, Ariz., to live out his remaining years.


During WWII, John served with the British Army. He was involved with the British Expedition and then engaged in the Battle of Britain. After that, he was transported to North Africa and later to the Balkans. In April 1941, he was captured in Greece by the Germans and spent the remainder of the war in Stalag XVIIA, a German prisoner of war camp.


Upon his military discharge in 1946, John enrolled in the Glasgow College of Education, where he earned diplomas in economics and education. He followed with a degree of B.Com in economics, German and French from the University of London.


In 1956, he moved to Canada, and the next year obtained a teaching fellowship at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., where he received the degree of Artium Magistar (A.M.) in economics and economic philosophical relationships, and a doctorate in economics and social ethics.


From 1965 until his 2002 retirement, he was a professor of economics and ethics at California State University Fresno. In 1998, John was named to the Who's Who Among America's Teachers.


During his career, John wrote 51 articles on social economics and ethics, and authored or edited more than 26 books. He also wrote "D'Arcy Fitzroy, P.O.W. and The Styrian Connection," a novel published in Britain in 2007.


He presented research papers around the world: Tokyo, Mexico City, London, Sweden, the Netherlands, Vienna, Salzburg, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Moscow, Toronto, Vancouver, Brisbane and major cities in the United States. He was president of the Association for Social Economics and the program director of the third World Congress of Social Economics. And he served as editor of the International Review of Economics and Ethics, as well as the International Journal of Social Economics. 

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