Barnett Goodstein was born in 1921 in Dallas, Texas. At the age of four and a half, he moved with his family to New York for a few years as a result of his father’s work with the Sun Star Manufacturing Company. Barnett graduated from high school in 1938 and attended Rice University as a pre-law student. However, he became enamored with economics and decided to transfer from Rice to the University of Texas at Austin for its economics program, finishing with his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 1942. That same year he enlisted in the Air Force and later began teaching economics at both SMU and the University of Dallas. Barnett and his wife, Mira, were married by Rabbi Lefkowitz at Temple Emanu-El in 1947. In 1949, he started studying at the University of Wisconsin to obtain his Ph.D. in economics while simultaneously teaching. Barnett finished law school in 1957 and became a practicing lawyer shortly thereafter.
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