Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, was a Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, from 1977 to 2006. He was also Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1946 to 1976, and was a member of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981.
Professor Friedman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988 and received the National Medal of Science the same year. He is 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, Professor Friedman had also written extensively on public policy, always with 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 tri-weekly columns that he wrote for Newsweek from 1966 to 1983; and (with Rose Friedman) Free to Choose (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), which complements a ten-part TV series of the same name, shown over PBS in early 1980, and (with Rose D. Friedman) Tyranny of the Status Quo (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984), which complements a three-part TV 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 (1969-70) and of the President’s Commission on White House Fellows (1971-73). He was a member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, a group of experts outside the government, named in early 1981 by President Reagan.
He had also been active in public affairs, serving as an informal economic adviser to Senator Goldwater in his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 1964, to Richard Nixon in his successful campaign in 1968, to President Nixon subsequently, and to Ronald Reagan in his 1980 campaign.
He had published many books and articles, most notably A Theory of the Consumption Function (University of Chicago Press, 1957), The Optimum Quantity of Money and Other Essays (Aldine, 1969), and (with A. J. Schwartz) A Monetary History of the United States (Princeton University Press, 1963), Monetary Statistics of the United States (Columbia University Press, 1970), and Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom (University of Chicago Press, 1982).
Professor Friedman was a past president of the American Economic Association, the Western Economic Association, and the Mont Pelerin Society, and is a member of the American Philosophical Society and of the National Academy of Sciences.
He also had been 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.
He and his wife established the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, for the purpose of promoting parental choice of the schools their children attend. The Foundation is based in Indianapolis and its president and chief executive officer is Robert C. Enlow.
He and his wife published their memoirs: Milton and Rose D. Friedman, Two Lucky People: Memoirs (University of Chicago Press, 1998).
On November 16, 2006, Dr. Friedman passed away at the age of 94 in San Francisco.