Milton Friedman

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Milton Friedman
Occupation Economist

Milton Friedman was widely regarded as the leader of the Chicago school of monetary economics, which emphasizes the importance of the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy and in determining business cycles and inflation.

In 1976, Friedman received the Nobel Memorial Prize for economic science. 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, as well as a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006.

Friedman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988 and received the National Medal of Science the same year.[1]

He died on Nov. 16, 2006 at the age of 94.[2] On March 12 2009, Friedman was posthumously inducted into the Futures Industry Association's Futures Hall of Fame, which was established in 2005 to commemorate outstanding contributions to the global futures and options community. [3] Leo Melamed accepted the award on his behalf at the FIA's 2009 International Conference in Boca Raton, Florida.


Friedman was born in 1912 to Jewish immigrants in New York City. In 1951, Friedman won the John Bates Clark Medal honoring economists under age 40 for outstanding achievement. In 1976, he won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his achievements in the field of consumption analysis and monetary history and theory.

Before that, he served as an adviser to President Nixon and was president of the American Economic Association in 1967. He retired from the University of Chicago in 1977.

Friedman established himself in 1945 with Income from Independent Professional Practice, coauthored with Simon Kuznets, in which he argued that state licensing procedures limited entry into the medical profession, thereby allowing doctors to charge higher fees than if competition were more open.[4]

His landmark work of 1957, A Theory of the Consumption Function, took on the Keynesian Economics view that individuals and households adjust their expenditures on consumption to reflect their current income. Friedman showed that, instead, people's annual consumption is a function of their expected lifetime earnings.[5]


Friedman received a BA in 1932 from Rutgers University, an MA in 1933 from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in 1946 from Columbia University.


  • Free Markets for Free Men - was delivered on October 17, 1974, before a group of business leaders and others concerned with commodity markets at a luncheon sponsored by The University of Chicago.