Friedman, Milton (1912-2006) was an educator with unusual influence in American policymaking circles during the late twentieth century. The son of Jewish dry goods merchants, he was born in New York and grew up in New Jersey. Friedman hoped to become an actuary, but his undergraduate mentors at Rutgers University nudged him instead toward the emerging field of economics and, after attaining an MA from the University of Chicago in 1933, he joined Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, bouncing between several government agencies during the 1930s and 1940s. As a mid-level bureaucrat, he became interested in the nature of income and eventually submitted a PhD thesis on the topic to Columbia University in 1946. Shortly thereafter, he took a teaching position at the University of Chicago, where he spent three decades training students, networking with like-minded economists, and writing scholarly tomes about the monetary dimensions of U.S. economic policy. His efforts resulted in a Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1976.
Irwin, Ryan, "Milton Friedman" (2015). History Faculty Scholarship. 20.