In Honor of a True ProphetThe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Wall Street Journal: subscription required) recently paid homage to Milton Friedman's life & work with a conference titled "Free to Choose: Economic Liberalism at the Turn of the 21st Century."
I'm not a professional economist, and have read only a smattering of Milton Friedman's academic papers. However, I've read a goodly portion of his non-academic output -- books, essays and interviews. While some of his ideas are a bit radical, I am firmly convinced that Friedman is a true giant -- one of the most influential economists and intellectuals of the 20th century.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s Friedman was consistently ignored and relegated to the fringes (in public debate and academia). It's amazing how, over time, most of the world has moved closer and closer to what he said -- the aforementioned essay on India is a prime example.
Sidebar: Friedman is one of the three people alive that I would most love to have dinner with -- the other two are Nelson Mandela and Aishwarya Rai.