Born and raised in Colorado, Bruce Watson studied undergraduate economics at the University of Denver. After six years as a financial futures analyst and trader, he did graduate work in economics at the University of Colorado and at Harvard. He taught at Harvard College for many years, and was a resident tutor in Harvard's Lowell House. He is now a lecturer at Boston University and at the Extension School. In 2011, Watson received the JoAnne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award.