Donald died June 12, 2017, in Sussex, UK, at age 82.
Donald was born April 15, 1935, in London. He graduated from the London School of Economics in 1956 and earned a Ph.D. in economics at Princeton in 1960.
After teaching at the University of California, Berkeley from 1959 to 1960, he returned to the UK, first to a lectureship in economics at Edinburgh, and then in 1963 to the new University of Sussex. In 1969 he became professor of the history of economic thought, retiring in 2000.
In his first book, Classical Political Economy and Colonies (1965) Donald questioned the version of history embedded in orthodox accounts of the development of economics. Best known for his 1978 book Adam Smith’s Politics, Donald asserted that Smith was not endorsing an unrestrained individualism, but was exploring the character of “commercial society” as part of a wider inquiry into the nature of law and government in modern states.
A fellow of the British Academy, as publications secretary of the Royal Economic Society he oversaw the collected works of major economists and established an online database of economists’ archives.
Donald is survived by his wife, Doreen Lidster; and stepson Nicholas.
Graduate alumni memorials are prepared by the APGA.