SALT LAKE CITY — Following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease, acclaimed Utah economist Jeff Thredgold has died at age 66.
Over a 40-year career, Thredgold served as president of Thredgold Economic Associates and as an economic consultant to Zions Bancorp. for 17 years. A sought-after public speaker and accomplished author, Thredgold died on Saturday at his home in Farmington. In 2012, he was diagnosed with frontotemporal degeneration, a neurological condition similar to amyotrophic laterals sclerosis.
Thredgold’s career included 23 years at KeyCorp as senior vice president and chief economist. For 37 years, he authored the Tea Leaf — a weekly economic and financial newsletter. He was also wrote a monthly economic column for Business Issues — an Asia-based business publication.
The author of several books, including “EconAmerica,” “A Parent’s Letter to My Children in School” and “On the One Hand the Economist’s Joke Book,” he also served as an adjunct professor of finance at the University of Utah. He was also president of the National Association for Business Economics Utah Chapter and a former member of the Economic Advisory Committee of the American Bankers Association, as well as a former member of the Economic Policy Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Active as a professional speaker since 1989, he logged more than 1,500 speaking engagements at conferences, conventions and other meetings across the U.S. and internationally. In 2002, Thredgold received the designation of certified speaking professional from the International Federation for Professional Speakers and the National Speakers Association.
“Jeff Thredgold successfully brought the dismal science of economics to life,” said Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank. “Over the years, hundreds of Zions Bank’s business clients had the opportunity to hear his lively speeches that provided context and relevance to the financial markets and demographic trends. We are grateful to have known and worked with Jeff and reflect upon the impact he made on Utah’s business community.”
According to his wishes, Thredgold’s brain will be donated the University of Utah Hospital to support research of frontotemporal degeneration.
A celebration of his life will be held Saturday and Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. at his home, 1311 N. Hidden Quail Cove in Farmington.