Hundredth anniversary of Milton Friedman’s birth

Monday, July 30, 2012
Milton Friedman
Image credit: 
Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis
Milton Friedman
Image credit: 
Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis

Tuesday, July 31, 2012, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hoover fellow Milton Friedman, a renowned American economist. 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.

He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on monetary economics and consumption analysis; he also wrote extensively on public policy, always with an 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); (with Rose D. Friedman) Free to Choose (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), which complements a ten-part television series of the same name shown on 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 on PBS in early 1984.

A survey of economists ranked Friedman as the second most popular economist of the twentieth century (behind John Maynard Keynes); The Economist described him as "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century . . . possibly of all of it.”

Friedman was a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006. He died on November 16, 2006.

Click here to see a new Hoover project showcasing the works of Milton and Rose Friedman. The website features the couple, books, commentary, audio and videos, the Friedman Legacy, and an entire career's-worth of personal papers.

“The true test of any scholar's work is not what his contemporaries say, but what happens to his work in the next 25 or 50 years. And the thing that I will really be proud of is if some of the work I have done is still cited in the text books long after I am gone.“
- Milton Friedman, as quoted in The Power of Choice (January 2007)