Milton Friedman - Biography

From Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation Web Site

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.

Milton Friedman
Cato President Ed Crane and Milton Friedman at the 2004 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing liberty

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 operating officer is Gordon St Angelo.

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.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic Degrees

  • B.A., Rutgers University, 1932
  • M.A., University of Chicago, 1933
  • Ph.D., Columbia University, 1946

Honorary Degrees

  • LL.D., St. Paul's University (Tokyo, Japan), 1963
  • LL.D., Kalamazoo College, 1968
  • LL.D., Rutgers University, 1968L.H.D., Rockford College, 1969
  • LL.D., Lehigh University, 1969
  • D.Sc., University of Rochester, 1971
  • litt.D., Bethany College, 1971
  • LL.D., Loyola University (Chicago), 1971
  • L.H.D., Roosevelt University, 1975
  • LL.D., University of New Hampshire, 1975
  • (Hon.) Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1977
  • D.C.S., Francisco Marroquín University (Guatemala), 1978
  • LL.D., Harvard University, 1979
  • LL.D., Brigham Young University, 1980
  • LL.D., Dartmouth College, 1980
  • L.H.D., Hebrew Union College (Los Angeles), 1981
  • LL.D., Gonzaga University, 1981
  • L.H.D., Jacksonville University, 1993
  • H.C.D., Economics University of Prague, 1997

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

Academic Appointments

  • Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Chicago.
  • Part-time Lecturer, Columbia University, 1937-40
  • Visiting Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin, 1940-41
  • Associate Professor of Economics and Business Administration,
  • University of Minnesota, 1945- 46
  • University of Chicago: Associate Professor of Economics, 1946-48;
  • Professor of Economics, 1948-63;
  • Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, 1963-82
  • Visiting Fulbright Lecturer, Cambridge University, 1953-54
  • Wesley Clair Mitchell Visiting Research Professor, Columbia University, 1964-65
  • Visiting Professor, U.C.L.A., Winter Quarter, 1967
  • Visiting Professor, University of Hawaii, Winter Quarter, 1972

Research Positions

  • Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution (Stanford University); 1977-2006
  • Research Assistant, Social Science Research Committee, University of Chicago, 1934-35
  • Associate Economist, National Resources Committee, Washington, D.C., 1935-37
  • Member of Research Staff, National Bureau of Economic Research, New York, 1937-45 (on leave 1940-45), 1948-81
  • Principal Economist, Division of Tax Research, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1941-43
  • Associate Director, Statistical Research Group, Division of War
  • Research, Columbia University, 1943-45
  • Visiting Scholar, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, January-March 1977

Other Positions

  • Consultant, Economic Co-operation Administration (Paris), Fall 1950
  • Consultant, International Co-operation Administration (India), Fall 1955
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford, California), 1957-58
  • Ford Faculty Research Fellow (from the University of Chicago), 1962-63
  • Columnist and Contributing Editor, Newsweek, September 1966-June 1984

Professional Societies

  • Member, American Economic Association (Board of Editors, American
  • Economic Review, 1951- 53; Executive Committee, 1955-57; President, 1967)
  • Member, Mont Pelerin Society (American Secretary, 1957-62; Member of Council, 1962-65; Vice President, 1967-70; President, 1970-72; Vice President, 1972-80)
  • Member, The Philadelphia Society (Board of Trustees, 1965-67, 1970-72, 1976-78)
  • Member, Royal Economic Society
  • Member, Western Economic Association (Vice President, 1982-83; President-elect, 1983-84; President, 1984-85)

Elected Societies

  • Fellow, American Statistical Association
  • Fellow, Econometric Society (Board of Editors, Econometrica, 1957-69)
  • Fellow, Institute of Mathematical Statistics
  • Member, American Philosophical Society, 1957-
  • Associate Member, Belgian Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts, 1971-
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1973-
  • Foreign Member, Accademia Nazionale dei lincei (Italy), 1978-
  • Fellow, Jewish Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1986-
  • Fellow, National Association of Business Economists, 1989-
  • Active Member, Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europaea (European Academy of Sciences and Arts), 1992-

Other Activities

  • Council of Academic Advisers, American Enterprise Institute, 1956-79
  • Member, Board of Directors, Aldine Publishing Company, 1961-76
  • Policy-holder Elected Trustee, CREF, 1964-68
  • Advisory Board, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, 1968-94
  • Member, The President's Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force, 1969-70
  • Member, The President's Commission on White House Fellows, 1971-73
  • Member, Advisory Committee on Monetary Statistics, Federal Reserve System 1974
  • Member, The President's Economic Policy Advisory Board, 1981-88
  • Honorary Adviser, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies of the Bank of Japan, October 1982-86
  • Presenter of a ten-part TV series on PBS called "Free to Choose," January-March 1980. The same series in shortened form (six parts) was also aired on BBC in England, February-March 1980. "Free to Choose" was also shown in other countries, including Australia, Holland, Japan, and Singapore. An updated tenth anniversary edition of "Free to Choose," consisting of five parts, was aired on CNBC early in 1991.
  • Presenter of three one-half hour TV programs called "Tyranny of the Status Quo" on PBS in March and April 1984
  • Founding Member, National Coalition for Drug Policy Change, 1993
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, 1996-2006. (The mission of the foundation is to promote public understanding of the need for major reform in K-12 education and the role that competition through educational choice can play in achieving that reform.

Awards and Honors

  • John Bates Clark medallist (American Economic Association), 1951
  • Chicagoan of the Year (Chicago Press Club), 1972
  • Educator of the Year (Chicago Jewish United Fund), 1973
  • Nobel Prize for Economic Science, 1976
  • Scopus Award (American Friends of The Hebrew University), 1977
  • Private Enterprise Exemplar Medal (Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge), 1978
  • Valley Forge Honor Certificate for speech on "The Future of Capitalism" (Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge), 1978
  • George Washington Honor Medal (Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge), 1978 and 1980
  • Gold Medal (National Institute of Social Sciences, New York), 1978
    Statesman of the Year Award (Sales & Marketing Executives International), 1981
  • Ohio State Award for "Free to Choose" TV Series, 1981
  • New Perspectives Award for "Free to Choose" TV Series (Touche Ross & Co.), 1981
  • One of the 1980 Tuck Media Awards for Economic Understanding, for "Free to Choose" TV Series (Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College), awarded in 1981
  • Grand Cordon of the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure (Japanese Government), 1986
  • National Medal of Science, 1988
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1988
  • Institution of World Capitalism Prize (Jacksonville University), 1993
  • Goldwater Award (Goldwater Institute), 1997
  • Robert Maynard Hutchins History Maker Award for Distinction in Education (Chicago Historical Society), 1997
  • Source Award for lifetime Achievement (The Primary Source, Tufts University), 1997
  • Templeton Honor Rolls lifetime Achievement Award, 1997

See Also:

Autobiography from the Nobel-eMuseum Web Site.

Biography from the library of Economics and liberty