Joseph M. Belth, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of insurance in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, author of Life Insurance: A Consumer's Handbook, author of several other books and numerous journal articles, and a blogger ( He founded The Insurance Forum, an independent monthly periodical, and was its editor for its entire 40 years--from January 1974 through December 2013.

For The Insurance Forum, Belth received the 1990 George Polk award in the "special publications" category. For one of his books, Participating Life Insurance Sold by Stock Companies, he received the 1966 Elizur Wright award for "outstanding original contribution to the literature of insurance." For articles in The Journal of Risk and Insurance, he received awards in 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1971, and 1979. He received the 1987 Financial Security Nest Egg award from the Life Communicators Association for "professional activities in communicating to the general public." He received a 1999 Huebner Gold Medal from The American College "in recognition of distinguished service to education and professionalism."

Belth holds degrees from Auburn (New York) Community College (now Cayuga Community College), Syracuse University, and the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn he was a fellow of the S.S. Huebner Foundation for Insurance Education. He was a life insurance agent in Syracuse for five years in the 1950s. He is a past president of the American Risk and Insurance Association, an organization of insurance professors and others interested in insurance education and research. He has been a member of the Indiana University faculty since 1962.

Belth was the subject of a page-one profile in The Wall Street Journal on January 5, 1978. He was also profiled in Barron's on June 8, 1981, and in The New York Times on April 17, 1990.