Aaron Director

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Aaron Director (1901-2004) was a conservative economics professor who built his department at the University of Chicago into the finest in the world. He was immensely influential in working with many Nobel laureates, including Milton Friedman (whom Director's younger sister Rose married), George Stigler, and Ronald Coase. After he retired from the University of Chicago he accepted a position with the Hoover institution at Stanford University.

In 1958, Aaron Director founded the Journal of Law and Economics, which caused enormous changes in antitrust law by encouraging courts to focus on price-fixing and large mergers rather than issues like resale price maintenance.

In 1962, Director was co-founder of the Committee on a Free Society at the University of Chicago. It was created to "clarify and reinforce the tradition of individual liberty in its economic, political, historical and philosophical dimensions."

In his youth, Director was a progressive (today he would have been called a liberal) who earned his college degree in three years at Yale and then became a history teacher. Later he went to graduate school at Chicago, and it was in one course there that switched to become a conservative. According to Ronald Coase, a course taught by Professor Jacob Viner changed Director's political and economic views. "It is easy to understand why a solid course by this great teacher and great economist would have swept away like chaff in a windstorm the nebulous idealism and Socialist views of Director’s Yale days," Coase stated in Palgrave.[1]

Aaron Director's sister, Rose Director, married Milton Friedman and as Rose Friedman became an advocate for free choice in education.


  1. http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/04/040913.director.shtml