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August 1, 2012

Milton and Rose Friedman: An uncommon couple

Milton and Rose Friedman: An uncommon couple
Image credit: Steven N. S. Cheung
Milton and Rose Friedman: An uncommon couple

On the occasion of what would have been Milton Friedman’s one hundredth birthday (July 31, 2012), the Hoover Institution launched a website dedicated to the lifework of the Nobel laureate and Hoover fellow and his partner in life and in public policy research, Rose Friedman.

Visitors to the site (http://uncommoncouple.org) will find complete lists of all their writings, spanning seventy-five years; links to their groundbreaking PBS series Free to Choose; finding aids to Milton’s personal papers and correspondence, which are held in the Hoover Institution Archives; and lists of and links to a variety of other audio, video, and written material. The last bibliography that Milton compiled is included on the site.

Milton, who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1976, is recognized as one of the twentieth-century’s leading economists. An educator at heart, Milton was a leader of the Chicago School of economics at the University of Chicago, where he served as an economics professor for thirty-five years. He revived and championed the theory that monetary policy—not fiscal policy—was the engine of economic stability and growth and the best vehicle with which to control inflation.

Later in life, Milton and Rose turned their attention to public policy. Always teaching, they advocated school choice as the answer to America’s education woes and insisted that free markets were imperative for the success of the emerging democracies of East and Central Europe.

Milton attained a cultural status that few academics have achieved. In development is a section dedicated to the Friedman legacy that focuses on the personal lives of Milton and Rose, with personal photos and correspondence; on Milton’s public stature, including his being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, appearances on The Phil Donahue Show and The Dinah Shore Program and a Playboy magazine interview; and on the numerous tributes and awards they both received from around the world.