Stuart Chase, 97, an economist who was a member of President Franklin Roosevelt's "brain trust" and who was credited with coining the term "the New Deal," died Nov. 16 at his home here. The cause of death was not reported.
He published a book titled "A New Deal" in 1932. Later that year, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a historic speech in his drive for the presidency, promised a "New Deal" for the American people. It became widely believed that Roosevelt had picked up the phrase from Mr. Chase, who was one of his advisers.
He wrote 33 books ranging from economics to semantics, political science, religion, consumer affairs and the arts. His first book, "The Tragedy of Waste," published in 1925, assessed the American industrial system and attracted worldwide attention. During the Great Depression, he wrote an average of about one book a year. His main theme was the inevitability of a planned national economy, which he advocated.
An isolationist during the early days of World War II, he was the author of "The New Western Front," a 1939 book in which he argued that this country should remain aloof from European and Far Eastern disputes. In 1961, he was part of a group of American intellectual leaders who went to the Soviet Union to seek better understanding between the world's two major nuclear rivals.
Mr. Chase was born in Somersworth, N.H., and grew up in Haverhill, Mass. He was a 1910 graduate of Harvard University. He entered his father's accounting firm in Boston after college. During World War I, he was assigned by the Federal Trade Commission to investigate allegations of illegal practices in the meat-packing industry, known as the "beef trust."
He later wrote for The Nation magazine and was an adviser to Roosevelt. Mr. Chase was one of the last surviving members of the "brain trust," who helped shape the New Deal.
He had lived in Redding for 55 years, and had served on the city's planning commission since 1956.
His marriage to the former Margaret Hatfield ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife, Marian Tyler Chase of Redding; two children by his first marriage, Robert H., of Talent, Ore., and Sonia Hodson Enoch of Weatherford, Tex.; three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.