Rose Friedman, 1910-2009

Rose Friedman died today at age 98 after a life well lived. Sincerest condolences to her family and friends from all of us at CEI.

The body of work that Milton and Rose Friedman put together over many years was one of the most influential of the 20th century. It continues to resonate in the 21st. From technical works like A Monetary History of the United States to popular works like the Free to Choose book and television series, the Friedmans made valuable contributions to economics, politics, philosophy, and, most importantly, human freedom.

Milton got most of the credit, and the Nobel prize. But even works without Rose’s name next to Milton’s on the cover bear her stamp. They were a team.

I had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Friedman and her husband when I was about 22. I was reading Capitalism and Freedom at the time. Both were kind enough to sign it. The gesture was almost meaningless to them — just a few scribbles on the title page — but not to me. Both of the Friedmans were kind, gracious, and took seriously what an unaccomplished nobody like me had to say, even though they certainly didn’t have to.

The sincere interest the Friedmans took in young people has assured that their ideas will not be forgotten by the next generation. The world could use more people like Rose Friedman. Especially now that the original is lost to us.