The Washington Post described Lester R. Brown as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers,” and the Calcutta Telegraph called him “the guru of the global environmental movement.” Raised on a tomato farm in Cumberland County, he and his brother marketed 1.5 million pounds of tomatoes a year—one of the top-yielding farm efforts on the East Coast. Through a youth exchange program, he spent six months in India living with village families and seeing the dire food situation. He joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1959 and from 1966–69 headed its International Agricultural Development Service. In 1974, he founded the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C., to analyze environmental, demographic, and economic issues. Brown is the author of more than 50 books published in many languages. His accolades include numerous honorary degrees and awards, such as the 1987 United Nations Environment Prize, a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award,” and the 1994 Blue Planet Prize. In 2001, he formed the Earth Policy Institute, whose mission is “to provide a vision of a sustainable future and a plan for how to get from here to there.”