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Friedrich A. Hayek: Champion of

Individual Liberty, Limited Government, and Free Markets

Group Discussion
Commanding Heights
Great Thinkers
Topics and Essays
Great Quotes

Hayek Quotes ] Milton Friedman ] Ayn Rand ] Frederick Bastiat ]

Hayek's Biography

Friedrich August von Hayek was born in Austria on May 8th, 1899.

Vienna in 1899 was a cosmopolitan capital that rivaled London, Paris, and Berlin in its wealth, power, and sophistication. This thriving metropolis's intellectual ferment was almost without parallel. Virtually every field of 20th-century art, culture, or science was deeply marked by the contribution of this era's Viennese. The vibrant city that produced Freud's psychoanalysis, Klimpt's painting, Mahler's and Schönberg's music, Kelsen's legal theorizing, Lorenz's anthropology, and Wittgenstein's, Polanyi's, and Popper's philosophizing, was also home to a powerful and distinctive school of economics. This Austrian School, as it came to be known, produced generations of world-renowned scholars, such as Joseph Schumpeter and Ludwig von Mises. Hayek was destined to become its greatest exponent in our time. (

Professor Hayek served in the Austro-Hungarian army during the First World War, seeing action on the Italian front. At the end of the war, he returned to Vienna and earned a doctorate in law with an emphasis in economics. He then acquired another doctorate in political science.

In 1923, he became an assistant to Ludwig von Mises at the Austrian Reparations Commission, and in 1927 they founded the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research, with Hayek as the director and Mises serving as the executive vice president. In 1929, Hayek published Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle and an article on "The Paradox of Savings." As a result he was invited by the London School of Economics to deliver a series of lectures, which were published in 1931 as Prices and Production.

The success of these lectures also resulted in him being appointed the Tooke Professor of Economics and Statistics at the University of London, a position he held until 1948. While in England, Hayek published Monetary Nationalism and International Stability (1937), Profits Interest and Investment(1939), The Road to Serfdom (1944), and Individualism and Economic Order(1948); and he edited Collectivist Economic Planning.

In 1947, he brought together many of the leading proponents in the world of classical liberalism and economic liberty for a conference at Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, and he founded the Mont Pelerin Society.

In 1950, Hayek moved to the University of Chicago as professor of social and moral philosophy, a position he held until 1962. During this period, he published The Counter Revolution of Science (1952), The Constitution of Liberty (1961), and The Sensory Order (1952); and he edited Capitalism and the Historians (1954).

From 1962 to 1967, he was professor of economic policy at the University of Freiburg, then professor of economics at the University of Salzburg until 1974, at which he returned to the University of Freiburg, and was professor emeritus there at the time of his death.


All information on this and referred pages should be distributed widely (with appropriate references to sources) to spread Hayek's principles to as many people as possible and move our countries toward more ideal conditions for all people.

Feel free to contact me with questions and comments: St. Augustine, Florida, USA - These pages last updated: July 17, 2003.

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