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Elinor Ostrom, 78, dies of cancer


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IU's distinguished Professor Elinor Ostrom died of cancer at IU Health Bloomington Hospital early Tuesday morning, according to a press release from the University.

Ostrom was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics, an honor she was awarded in 2009 for her research on the way groups of people manage common resources. She is so far the only woman to have received the prize.

She was the senior research director of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Distinguished Professor and Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, and a professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

"Indiana University has lost an irreplaceable and magnificent treasure with the passing of Elinor Ostrom," IU President Michael McRobbie said in the release.

"We are proud that Lin's life work will continue to be represented through the efforts of those at the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, and I am especially honored to have called Lin a friend and colleague," he said.

In April 2012, Ostrom was named to Time Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people.

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Professor Elinor Ostrom, left, receives the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden during the Nobel Prize awards ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, on Dec. 10, 2009. Associated Press Buy Photos
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Distinguished Professor Elinor Ostrom presents an updated version of her Nobel Prize lecture to an audience Feb. 16, 2010, at the IU Auditorium in Bloomington, Ind. Ostrom is the University's eighth Nobel Prize recipient. Ryan Dorgan Buy Photos
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Elinor Ostrom takes to the podium to give her commencement speech at the graduate commencement on May 7, 2010. Buy Photos
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Elinor Ostrom, a professor of political science at Indiana University, became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel prize for economics on Monday, Oct. 12, 2009. Ostrom was praised "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons." Ostrom's prize is Indiana University's eighth Nobel prize. Ryan Dorgan Buy Photos

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