Benjamin S. Loeb, writer

June 30, 2012

Benjamin S. Loeb, a writer and editor who composed speeches and briefs as an official at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and later collaborated with Nobel laureate Glenn T. Seaborg on books about nuclear policy and arms control, died June 12 at the Bedford Court assisted living facility in Silver Spring. He was 98.

He had heart disease, said his daughter, Ellen Loeb.

Dr. Loeb, an economist by training, began his government career in the mid-1950s as a writer and editor at the old Atomic Energy Commission and later its successor, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He retired from the NRC in 1976.

He worked for many years under Seaborg, a chemist who served as chairman of the AEC during the 1960s.

Dr. Loeb and Seaborg wrote three books together, including “Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Test Ban” (1981), about the negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union that led to the limited test ban treaty on nuclear weapons; “Stemming the Tide: Arms Control in the Johnson Years” (1987), about arms-control policy during the 1960s; and “The Atomic Energy Commission Under Nixon” (1993), about nuclear energy during the Nixon administration.

Dr. Loeb also wrote an entry in the “Encyclopedia of Arms Control and Disarmament” concerning test bans.

Benjamin S. Loeb — the middle initial did not stand for anything — was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was a 1935 history and music graduate of Cornell University, where he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

He received a master’s degree in business administration from New York University in 1948 and a doctorate in economics from Columbia University in 1958.

He was an economist for the War Production Board during World War II.

His first marriage, to Marian Hall, ended in divorce. A son from his second marriage, Kenneth Loeb, died in 1994.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Jeanne Unger Loeb of Silver Spring, and a daughter from his second marriage, Ellen Loeb of Rockville.

— T. Rees Shapiro