Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

Milton Friedman

Biography: 

Click here to see the Hoover project showcasing the works of Milton and Rose Friedman.

Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for economic science, was a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006. He passed away on Nov. 16, 2006. (Link to obituary.) He was also the Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1946 to 1976, and a member of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981.

Friedman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988 and received the National Medal of Science the same year.

He was widely regarded as the leader of the Chicago School of monetary economics, which stresses the importance of the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy and as a determinant of business cycles and inflation.

In addition to his scientific work, Friedman also wrote extensively on public policy, always with a primary emphasis on the preservation and extension of individual freedom. His most important books in this field are (with Rose D. Friedman) Capitalism and Freedom (University of Chicago Press, 1962); Bright Promises, Dismal Performance (Thomas Horton and Daughters, 1983), which consists mostly of reprints of columns he wrote for Newsweek from 1966 to 1983; (with Rose D. Friedman) Free to Choose (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), which complements a ten-part television series of the same name shown over the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) network in early 1980; and (with Rose D. Friedman) Tyranny of the Status Quo (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984), which complements a three-part television series of the same name, shown over PBS in early 1984.

He was a member of the President's Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force and the President's Commission on White House Fellows. He was a member of President Ronald Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board (a group of experts from outside the government named in 1981 by President Reagan).

Friedman was also active in public affairs, serving as an informal economic adviser to Senator Barry Goldwater in his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 1964, to Richard Nixon in his successful 1968 campaign, to President Nixon subsequently, and to Ronald Reagan in his 1980 campaign.

He has published many books and articles, most notably A Theory of the Consumption Function, The Optimum Quantity of Money and Other Essays, and (with A. J. Schwartz) A Monetary History of the United States, Monetary Statistics of the United States, and Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom.

He was a past president of the American Economic Association, the Western Economic Association, and the Mont Pelerin Society and was a member of the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences.

He was awarded honorary degrees by universities in the United States, Japan, Israel, and Guatemala, as well as the Grand Cordon of the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese government in 1986.

Friedman received a B.A. in 1932 from Rutgers University, an M.A. in 1933 from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in 1946 from Columbia University.

Two Lucky People, his and Rose D. Friedman's memoirs, was published in 1998 by the University of Chicago Press.

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Featured Commentary

Milton on Maggie

by Milton Friedmanvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
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Milton on Maggie

by Milton Friedmanvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

From the archives, we reproduce below two columns by Milton Friedman on the late Margaret Thatcher. Both columns appeared in Newsweek.

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Remembering Anna Schwartz

by Milton Friedmanvia Defining Ideas
Friday, June 22, 2012

The monetary historian, who collaborated with Milton Friedman, has passed away.

Featured Commentary

A Way Out of Soviet-Style Health Care

by Milton Friedmanvia Wall Street Journal
Saturday, March 20, 2010

In a chapter in his novel "The Cancer Ward" titled "The Old Doctor," Alexander Solzhenitsyn compares "private medical practice" with "universal, free, public health service" through the words of an elderly physician whose practice predated 1918. . . .

Featured Commentary

Why Money Matters

by Milton Friedmanvia Wall Street Journal
Friday, November 17, 2006

The third of three episodes in a major natural experiment in monetary policy that started more than 80 years ago is just now coming to an end...

Note: Dates are chosen in all figures to align market peaks

Why Money Matters

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 30, 2006

Milton Friedman

Featured Commentary

Hong Kong Wrong

by Milton Friedmanvia Wall Street Journal
Friday, October 6, 2006

It had to happen...

Allan Greenspan by Taylor Jones for the Hoover Digest.

A Difference of Kind

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, April 30, 2006

Milton Friedman pays tribute to the genius of Alan Greenspan.

Katrina and Vouchers

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 30, 2006

The private market can provide schooling for the children now returning to post-Katrina schools n New Orleans faster—and better—than can the state. By Milton Friedman.

The Father of Modern School Reform

by Milton Friedman, Nick Gillespievia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 30, 2006

Fifty years after he first proposed school vouchers, Milton Friedman is still on the case. An extended interview with Nick Gillespie of Reason magazine.

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