The son of farmers, Lester Brown was born in New Jersey in 1934 and attended Rutgers University, receiving a B.S. in agricultural science in 1955. He earned an M.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Maryland in 1959 and an M.P.A. from Harvard University in 1962. He worked as adviser on foreign agricultural policy for the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, served as administrator of the International Agricultural Development Service, and helped establish the Overseas Development Council. In 1974, Brown founded the Worldwatch Institute, a private, nonprofit, environmental think tank designed to act as a global early warning system and to study overpopulation, famine, and other world problems. Located in Washington, D.C., the institute publishes the Worldwatch Papers series, Worldwatch Magazine, and the annual State of the World report. Although sometimes criticized for his emphasis on population control, this author of more than a dozen books and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship has been highly praised for his understanding of the threats to the ecology of our planet.