American economist and Nobel Prize Recipient. Born in New York City to Jewish parents immigrated from Hungary, he began developing his economic theories during the Great Depression, received a PhD from Columbia University in 1946, was Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1976, became a senior research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution in 1977 and influenced the economic policies of three presidents (Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan). Recognized for his work on macroeconomics, microeconomics, economic history and statistics, he believed strongly in laissez-faire capitalism for a free market economy and in the principles of 18th century economist Adam Smith consistently asserting that individual freedom should rule economic policy. His book, "Capitalism and Freedom" (1962) sought to minimize the role of government in a free market thereby promoting political and social freedom. Won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1976 for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy. Hosted a television series Free to Choose on PBS in early 1980 which became a widely read book, co-authored with his wife, Rose Friedman. His more well known books were: "Price Theory," (1962 with Rose Friedman); "Capitalism and Freedom," (1962 with Anna J. Schwartz); "An Economist's Protest," (1972) and "There Is No Such Thing As a Free Lunch," (1975). In addition to authoring some 32 books on economics, he also wrote a column for Newsweek magazine from 1966 to 1983 and was one of the few economists able to bridge the gap between academia and the public. Cause of death: heart failure, in San Francisco, California.
Bio by: Fred Beisser