Economist Friedman dies

Nobel-prize winning economist and longtime San Francisco resident Milton Friedman died Thursday. He was 94.

Noted by Time magazine in 1975 as one of the world’s most important modern economists — along with John Maynard Keynes, Adam Smith and sparring partner John Kenneth Galbraith — Mr. Friedman was widely regarded as the founder of the Chicago School of monetary economics, and was an important economic adviser to several Republican presidents. Mr. Galbraith, with whom the more influential Mr. Friedman disagreed publicly in lively exchanges, also died this year.

“Milton Friedman was arguably the greatest economist of the 20th Century,” said John Raisian, Stanford University’s Hoover Institution director; Mr. Friedman was a senior fellow at the institution. “His reach was incredible. Esteemed academic economists lauded his intellectual capacity and leadership … At the same time, he was a household name among non-economists.”

During the course of his life, Mr. Friedman won the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, the 1988 Presidential Medal of Freedom and the 1988 National Medal of Science, according to the Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation. Prior to joining Hoover in 1977, he was an economics professor at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1976, and worked at the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981.

A promoter of the free market, individual liberty and consumer choice, he published widely read books, several co-authored by his wife Rose Friedman, 95, who survives him. They included “Free to Choose,” a 1980 work arguing that the free market with the fewest government regulations is the most moral economic system, and the 1962 book “Capitalism and Freedom.” “A Monetary History of the United States,” co-written in 1963 with Anna Schwartz, was an internationally influential work on the importance of controlling the monetary supply.

“I learned of Milton’s work at university, where I was a student of economics. Milton has such a clear and precise way of putting things in perspective,” said Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Foundation think tank in San Francisco. “Both Milton and Rose are the most wonderful people. Great teachers, great advisers … Even if Milton didn’t agree with you, he was respectful of your opinion and would talk you through it.”

He was an adviser to former President Ronald Reagan, and in later life became a great proponent of school choice, setting up his family’s foundation to promote that ideal. Rose Friedman will now assume chairmanship of the foundation, spokesman Robert Fanger said.

Mr. Friedman moved to California in 1977, and lived in Russian Hill,Pipes said. In addition to his wife, he survived by their two children, Janet Martel and David Friedman, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

businessBusiness & Real EstateScience and Technology

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Pier 39 aquarium staff furloughed during coronavirus — but what about the fish?

Aquarium of the Bay raising funds from public to keep up operations during shutdown

Ride-hail drivers left idling by coronavirus shutdown

Bay Area ride-hail drivers are among those who have been hit hardest… Continue reading

Navigation shelter resident tests positive for coronavirus

Homeless advocates repeatedly warned about an outbreak in congregate settings

CCSF taps first Asian American woman to lead as interim chancellor

City College reached a settlement with former Chancellor Mark Rocha after an abrupt departure

Plummeting Bay Area bridge traffic finally levels off

All told, weekday Bay Area traffic volumes are down by half, which has remained consistent from March 23 through this week.

Most Read