[QUOTE]NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Milton Friedman, the Nobel-prize winning economist who helped shape and define free-market economic theory, died Thursday at the age of 94 in San Francisco.
A spokesman for the Milton & Rose Friedman Foundation confirmed the news to CNN.
Friedman, who won the Nobel prize in 1976, helped interpret and popularize modern free-market economics that came to dominate much of U.S. public policy in second half of the 20th century.
Free-market economic theories, which included tight fiscal discipline and deregulation of markets, grew influential in the United States after Ronald Reagan became president in the United States.
Friedman was regarded as the leader of the Chicago School of monetary economics and the leading proponent of free-market theory.
The Chicago School regarded the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy, capable of influencing inflation and business cycles, according to his biography at the Hoover Institution where Friedman served as a research fellow.
Overseas, Friedman's work helped shape policies used in Chile and Argentina in the 1970s.
Friedman received his BA from Rutgers University in 1932, an MA from the University of Chicago the next year. In 1946 he received his Ph.D. from Columbia University.
One of the great and most influential economic minds of the twentieth century, his belief in the importance of the individual in economic activity was a real groundbreaking analysis in an era where government was seen as the best influencer of economic activity in accordance with Keynesian theory.
His prescriptions were used during the Latin American debt crisis in the 1980's and are still a central part of American foreign economic assistance policy today. During the 1960's-70's, his theories were seen by many accustomed to the status quo as a true revolutionary. The new generation of economists he spawned at the University of Chicago were known as the "Chicago Boys"