Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rose Friedman, Milton's better half, has died

Economist and benefactor Rose Friedman has died.
They were known for being both romantically and intellectually suited to each other, often appearing in public holding hands, and though often debating — Ms. Friedman was known as the less compromising of the two — rarely, if ever bickering. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2006, only a few months before her husband died, Ms. Friedman said the 2003 invasion of Iraq created the first major argument of their life together. She was in favor; he was not.

“We have disagreed on little things, obviously — such as, I don’t want to go out to dinner, he wants to go out — but big issues, this is the first one,” she said.

Ms. Friedman’s contribution to the couple’s work was “not so much in technical economic writing, but on the policy side,” said Gary Becker, a Nobel laureate and professor of economics at the University of Chicago, who was a student of Mr. Friedman’s and a longtime friend of the couple. “It was an extremely close intellectual fellowship, and she was not someone who got credit for things she didn’t do. They discussed ideas constantly. Her feelings about the importance of private markets, opposition to big government, were even stronger than his. Her lasting influence will be as a collaborator, but she was a major contributor to the collaboration, and that’s a significant legacy.”

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