Milton Friedman, R.I.P.

By November 16, 2006Economy

Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize winning economist and champion of free markets and freedom, died today at the age of 94.

Beyond his notable achievements as an economist, Friedman stood for liberty. During the 1970s, as Soviet collectivism and Eurosocialism seemed ascendant, Friedman reminded Americans and the world of the inherent relation between capitalism and freedom, inspiring generations to resist and reject tyranny.

President Reagan honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988.

The Cato Institute has a tribute page full of information about Professor Friedman here. Time Magazine’s 1976 profile of him upon winning the Nobel Prize is here. His autobiography is here.

From the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation:

Statement on Death of Dr. Milton Friedman
INDIANAPOLIS–Today, upon news of the death of Nobel Laureate economist Dr. Milton Friedman, Gordon St. Angelo, president and CEO of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, offered the following statement:

America has lost a true visionary and advocate for human freedom. And I have lost a great friend.

Milton’s passion for freedom and liberty has influenced more lives than he ever could possibly know. His writings and ideas have transformed the minds of U.S. Presidents, world leaders, entrepreneurs and freshmen economic majors alike. The loss of his passion, incisive mind and dedication to freedom are all national treasures that we mourn for today.

Milton never chose to slow down; even at 94 he kept fighting to bring educational equality to all of America’s children. And it’s this vision, this drive for educational liberty that the Friedman Foundation will continue to bring to families throughout America.

His impact on my life over the last 33 years was significant. His impact on the world was momentous. Without a doubt, few people have done more to advance civil and economic liberties throughout the world during their lifetime than Dr. Milton Friedman.

In my freshman year at Reed College, 1977 — his wife, Rose, had attended Reed — Friedman spoke to the assembled student body. Student reaction in the gym was predictable: juvenile, disruptive, and aggressive. I don’t recall the substance, but do recall his brilliance — rebutting, with razor-sharp analysis, all the posturing and agitprop directed his way. Freedom, I thought afterward. Pretty good idea.

UPDATE: Many more links here at Free to Choose.