Richard A. Epstein, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, has been appointed the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Epstein, who shall continue to teach at the University of Chicago, is known for his research and writing on a broad range of constitutional, economic, historical, and philosophical subjects. Among the subjects he has taught at the University of Chicago are communications law, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, health law, jurisprudence, patents, property, torts, Roman law, real estate development and finance, and individual and corporate taxation.
"The Hoover Institution has a proven record of attracting many of the world's leading scholars to focus their abilities on key issues of public policy. The recruitment of Richard Epstein represents a special opportunity for the Institution, particularly as it launches its Initiative on Property Rights and the Rule of Law," Peter Bedford said. "Kit and I are pleased to have helped make it happen."
Peter Bedford is chief executive officer and chairman of the board for Bedford Property Investors, Inc., president of Bedford Properties Holdings, Ltd., and a director of Bixby Ranch Company, First American Title Guaranty Company, and eVault. He has been a leading property developer, primarily in California and throughout the West, and has invested in cable television, radio, and restaurants. He has served as a director or trustee of a wide range of corporate and charitable organizations including Bank of America, Kaiser Aluminum, the California Academy of Science, the Urban Land Institute, and the Wharton School.
Bedford serves as vice chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution, where he has been an overseer beginning in 1981. He earned a B.A. degree from Stanford University in 1960 and served in the U.S. Navy from 1960 to 1963, where he attained the rank of lieutenant.
A 1960 Stanford graduate, Kirsten Bedford is currently a board member of the San Francisco Art Institute. From 1986 to 1991, she was publisher of Bedford Arts. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Hopkins Center/Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, on the Lafayette, California, Art Board, and on a community advisory committee for the University of California, Berkeley. She has been active in community service, with a particular focus on the arts.
"Richard is a ten-strike appointment for the Hoover Institution," said Hoover director John Raisian. "Peter and Kirsten Bedford are helping us move toward the property rights initiative in a major way."
Richard Epstein's books include Principles for a Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty with the Common Good (1998), Mortal Peril: Our Inalienable Right to Health Care? (1997), Simple Rules for a Complex World (1995), Bargaining with the State (1993), Forbidden Grounds: The Case against Employment Discrimination Laws (1992), and Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain (1985). Epstein is also the editor of Cases and Materials in the Law of Torts (7th ed.) and has written a one-volume treatise, Torts (1999).
He received a B.A. in philosophy summa cum laude from Columbia in 1964. He received a B.A. in law with first-class honors from Oxford University in 1966 and an LL.B., cum laude, from the Yale Law School in 1968. On graduation he joined the faculty at the University of Southern California, where he taught until 1972. In 1972, he visited the University of Chicago and became a regular member of the faculty the next year. He was named James Parker Hall Professor in 1982 and Distinguished Service Professor in 1988.
He spent the 1977–78 year as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. From 1981 to 1991, he was editor of the Journal of Legal Studies. Since 1991, he has been an editor of the Journal of Law & Economics. He has been a senior fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics since 1984 and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1985.