Rukeyser, a best-selling author, columnist, lecturer and television host who delivered pun-filled, commonsense commentary on complicated business and economic news, died Tuesday at the age of 73.
Rukeyser died at his home in Greenwich after a long battle with multiple myeloma, a rare bone marrow cancer, said his brother, Bud Rukeyser.
As host of "Wall $treet Week With Louis Rukeyser" on public TV from 1970 until 2002, Rukeyser took a wry approach to the ups and downs in the marketplace and urged guests to avoid jargon. He brought finance and economics to ordinary viewers and investors, and was rewarded with the largest audience in the history of financial journalism.
"He brings to the tube a blend of warmth, wit, irreverence, thrusting intellect and large doses of charm, plus the credibility of a Walter Cronkite," Money magazine wrote in a cover story.
Rukeyser also won numerous awards and honors, including a citation by People magazine as the only sex symbol of the "dismal science" of economics.
"Our prime mission is to make previously baffling economic information understandable and interesting to people in general," he once said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Bud Rukeyser called his brother "a giant at what he did."
"He was a pioneer in economic reporting in television. Right up to the time he got ill, he was at the top of the heap," he said in a telephone interview.
"Wall $treet Week With Louis Rukeyser" was produced at Maryland Public Television's Owings Mills studio. At the peak of its popularity, "Wall $treet Week With Louis Rukeyser," which cost $2 million annually to produce, was carried by 300 PBS stations and earned more than $6 million a year. It attracted 1.5 million viewers, one of the largest audiences of any weekly public television series.