Alan Greenspan

Economist / Government Official

Born: 6 March 1926
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as:

Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors, 1987-2006

Alan Greenspan was chairman of the Federal Reserve, and one of the most powerful financial men in America, from 1987 until his retirement in 2006. Alan Greenspan had a brief fling as a professional jazz saxophonist before attending New York University and then becoming head of an economics consulting firm, Townsend-Greenspan & Co., in New York in 1954. He flourished, and by the 1970s he was advising presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and in 1987 he was named Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System. Greenspan held the post under presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush the elder, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. As chairman, Greenspan was largely responsible for directing U.S. national monetary policy; he is often credited with keeping inflation at historically low levels, and is sometimes criticized for the boom-and-bust nature of the economy in the so-called "dot-com" era of the 1990s. He stepped down from the post on 31 January 2006, and was succeeded by former Princeton econonomics department chair Ben Bernanke. Alan Greenspan's memoir, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, was published in 2007.

Extra credit:

Early in his life, Alan Greenspan was a friend and follower of writer Ayn Rand... Greenspan married NBC television reporter Andrea Mitchell in 1997... According to his bio from the Federal Reserve Board, Greenspan "received a B.S. in economics (summa cum laude) in 1948, an M.A. in economics in 1950, and a Ph.D. in economics in 1977, all from New York University."

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