Murray Rothbard Biography


Birthday: March 2, 1926 (Pisces)

Born In: Bronx, New York, United States

Murray Newton Rothbard was an American economist, historian, and political theorist. With his exceptional academic and scholarly ability, he made major contributions to economics, history, political philosophy and legal theory. His work was broadly influenced by the theories of Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises. Mises, through Rothbard, impacted the American libertarian movement as Rothbard formed the body of thought called ‘anarcho-capitalism’. Rothbard, like his Austrian influence, supported the concept of spontaneous order, free banking and rejected coercive control of government over the economy and society. He was stringently against all military, political, and economic interventionism in the affairs of other nations. Rothbard’s prominent role in the history is established through his twenty publications on anarchist theory, revisionist history, economics, and other subjects, through which he became the central figure in twentieth century American libertarian movement. For the promotion of his ideologies, Rothbard joined Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. and Burton Blumert in 1982 to establish the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Alabama. He taught economics to the engineering students at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute for over 20 years and then joined the Butt Business School at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1986, where he held the title of S.J. Hall Distinguished Professor of Economics, an endowed chair paid for by an admirer of his work, until his death.

Quick Facts

Nick Name: Mr. First Nighter

Also Known As: Murray Newton Rothbard

Died At Age: 68


Spouse/Ex-: JoAnn Schumacher

father: David Rothbard

mother: Rae

Born Country: United States

Economists Philosophers

Died on: January 7, 1995

place of death: New York City, New York, United States

City: Bronx, New York

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Columbia University

Childhood & Early Life
Murray Rothbard was born in Bronx, New York to Jewish immigrant parents, David and Rae Rothbard. His father was a chemist and the Rothbard family lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
He was a brilliant student and attended a private school called Birch Wathen. He attended the Columbian University where he did his major in mathematics and economics.
Rothbard attended a seminar of Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises in the 1950s; Mises was teaching at the Wall Street division of New York University Business School at the time. He got greatly influenced by him.
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Between 1950s and 1960s, the William Volker Fund, a group that provided financial support to the ‘right wing’ ideologies, financed Rothbard’s ‘Man, Economy and State’, which finally got published in 1962.
In 1964, Rothbard started teaching economics to engineering students at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. During this time he published works like, ‘The Panic of 1819: Reactions and Policies (1962)’, etc.
His next set of works included, ‘Power and Market: Government and the Economy (1970)’, ‘‘America’s Great Depression (1973)’, ‘For a New Liberty (1973)’, ‘Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays (1974)’, ‘The Essential von Mises, "Bramble Minibook" (1973)’, etc.
Besides publishing ‘Conceived in Liberty (1975)’, during the late 1970s, Rothbard also founded the Centre for Libertarian Studies (1976) and the Journal of Libertarian Studies (1977).
During the 1980s, he was involved with foundation of Ludwig von Mises Institute in Alabama (1982), and became the vice president of academic affairs. He also started a journal, ‘Review of Austrian Economics (1987)’, (now ‘Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics’).
Published works of this time includes: ‘The Ethics of Liberty (1982)’, ‘The Mystery of Banking (1983)’, ‘The Case against the Fed (1994)’, ‘An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought (1995)’, etc.
He left Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute for the Butt Business School at Nevada University, Vegas in 1986, where he held the title of S.J. Hall Distinguished Professor of Economics, an endowed chair paid for by an admirer of his work.
Major Works
Rothbard’s prominent role in the history is established through his books on anarchist theory, revisionist history, and economics; and his founding and leading the concept of anarcho-capitalism, through which he became the outstanding figure in 20th century American libertarian movement.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1953, Rothbard got married to JoAnn Schumacher in New York City. The couple remained married to each other until Rothbard’s death and did not have any children.

He died in 1995 in Manhattan of heart attack. He was survived by his wife, who also passed away four years after his death.
Rothbard’s wife, Joey, used to recollect what a happy and bright person he was, after his death and once told the media that, ‘...he managed to make a living for 40 years without having to get up before noon. This was important to him.’
The New York Times obituary called Rothbard "an economist and social philosopher who fiercely defended individual freedom against government intervention."
In the 1950s, Rothbard along with several other scholars influenced with Mises’ work joined the close circle of novelist Any Rand (who was a founder of the theory of Objectivism). But he soon left the group calling her ideas unoriginal.
After Rand’s novel ‘Atlas Shrugged’ came out in 1958, Rothbard wrote her a fan letter and again joined her circle. But after having some fundamental differences in their philosophies, they parted ways again. And he mocked Rand’s circle in his play ‘Mozart Was a Red’.

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