Lyndon LaRouche, the quixotic, apocalyptic leader of a cultlike political organization who ran for president eight times, once from a prison cell, died on Tuesday February 12 2019. He was 96. He operated through a dizzying array of front groups, among them the National Democratic Policy Committee, through which he received millions of dollars in federal matching money in his recurring presidential campaigns. His forces also sponsored candidates at the state and local levels, including for school board seats. Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche Jr. was born on Sept. 8, 1922, in Rochester, N.H., to Lyndon and Jesse (Weir) LaRouche. He grew up in the Quaker tradition. His father was a traveling salesman for the United States Shoe Machinery Corporation, and his mother once ran a Quaker meeting in Boston’s Back Bay. he enrolled in Northeastern University in Boston but “resigned,” he said, because the university was not challenging his superior intellect. He said he had been able to become the century’s leading economist without formal college study. He married Janice Neuberger in the early 1950s and had a son, Daniel, by her in 1956. The marriage failed, and he never talked publicly about his son and his former wife in his later years. Mr. LaRouche’s political roots were Marxist. From 1948 to 1963, he was active in the Socialist Workers Party, a Trotskyite group. His own group surfaced during the student unrest at Columbia University in the late 1960s as a faction of the left-wing Students for a Democratic Society. It evolved into the National Caucus of Labor Committees, an organization largely made up of young upper-middle-class people who espoused Mr. LaRouche’s Marxist views. He first ran for president in 1976 as the candidate of the left-wing United States Labor Party, now defunct. By then, though, his politics had already begun moving to the right. And after spending much time in West Germany, he returned with right-wing, anti-Semitic views. Many of his followers made the shift with him. By the mid-1970s, his organization had 37 offices in North America and 26 in Europe and Latin America. A core membership in the United States numbered about 1,000. Mr. LaRouche was helped by his wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, a native of Germany who had been a journalist there. Information about his survivors was not immediately available.