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Rose and Milton Friedman Marriage Profile


Photo Credit: ©University Of Chicago Press

Photo Credit: ©University Of Chicago Press

Married for 68 years, the supportive and loving marriage relationship of Rose and Milton Friedman was described by Fortune magazine as "a great intellectual journey and a happy marriage."
Source: Fortune, July 6, 1998, page 44.

Here is more information about their many years together.


Milton Friedman: July 31, 1912 in Brooklyn, New York.

Rose Director: December 1911 in Charterisk in the part of Eastern Europe that later became Poland. Rose said in their memoirs, "I was born, according to family tradition and my own deduction, during the last week of December 1911, the youngest of a family of five."
Source: Two Lucky People: Memoirs, page 4.


Milton Friedman: November 16, 2006 in San Francisco, California at the age of 94 of heart failure.

How Milton and Rose Met:

Rose and Milton met on October 3, 1932 in a graduate economics class in "room 107 of the Social Science Building at the University of Chicago." Source: Two Lucky People: Memoirs, page 1

Their first date was in 1933 at the end of the first year in classes together. They went to the World's Fair together.
Source: The American Enterprise, January 1999, page 18.

Wedding Date:

Milton and Rose were married on June 25, 1938 in a small traditional Orthodox Jewish ceremony at the Jewish Seminary in New York City.


Milton and Rose spent their honeymoon in a guest cottage near Lake Kezar in North Lovell, Maine.


Rose and Milton had three children, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

  • Firstborn: Born stillborn.

  • David D. Friedman: Born February 2, 1945. David is a philosopher, writer, and economist as well as a science fiction fan. David wrote a fantasy novel, Harald. David has been married twice:
    • Diana Forwalter: They have one son, Patri Aaron Forwalter-Friedman. Their marriage ended in divorce.

    • Elizabeth "Betty" Cook: Living in San Jose, California, David and Betty have two children, Rebecca Anne Cook Friedman and William Stuart Cook Friedman.

    David's Web Site
    David's Blog

  • Janet Friedman: Born February 26, 1943. Janet is a lawyer. Janet has been married twice.
    • Lew Stansby: They have one son, Rick Stansby. Their marriage ended in divorce.
      • Rick married Kristin, and they have two children, Maya and Elijah Maurice.

    • Charles "Chip" Martel: Janet and Chip married on June 25, 1982.


Although supportive of Jewish culture throughout their lives, Rose and Milton considered themselves as agnostics.
Source: The American Enterprise, January 1999, page 18.


Milton: Nobel Prize-winning economist, columnist, writer.

Rose: Economist, writer, associate producer of television series Free to Choose.

Together, Rose and Milton founded The Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation devoted to promoting parental choice in schooling.

Two Lucky People: Memoirs
by Milton and Rose D. Friedman
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Rose and Milton lived their retirement years mostly in San Francisco, California.


Milton about what it takes to make a marriage work: "What you really have to have is tolerance."
Source: The American Enterprise, January 1999, page 18.

Milton about meeting Rose: "Personally, the most important event of that year was meeting a shy, withdrawn, lovely, and extremely bright fellow economics student, Rose Director ... in the words of the fairy tale, [we] have lived happily ever after. Rose has been an active partner in all my professional work since that time."
Source: Nobelprize.org

Milton and Rose about waiting six years to marry: "... we regarded marriage as 'till death us do part.' As a result we did not want to take that step until we had a reasonable prospect of being able to support ourselves and a family."
Source: Two Lucky People: Memoirs, page 1.

Milton and Rose about ups and downs of marriage: "We have had our ups and downs -- the downs early, the ups later, but our love and confidence in each other was strengthened and deepened by the downs as well as by the ups."
Source: Two Lucky People: Memoirs, page 1.

Rose about the marriages of their friends: "Whether it is a reflection of the mores of the time, or of our special group or our special circumstances, or a combination, our friends all remained married to their first spouses. Only death separated them and the survivor did not remarry."
Source: Two Lucky People: Memoirs, page 86.

Rose about losing their first baby: "... sharing the pain ... seemed to bring Milton and me even closer than we already were."
Source: Two Lucky People: Memoirs, page 104.

Rose about competition in their marriage: " I'm not competitive and never have been. I was smart enough to know that he was smarter so why should I try to compete with him?"
Source: The American Enterprise, January 1999, page 18.

Rose when asked if she ever felt overshadowed by Milton: "No. I've always felt that I'm responsible for at least half of what he's gotten ... Every time he had to go somewhere to change his job, I gave up my job. I didn't feel that I was giving up anything. It seemed to me that that was the way it should be. He was the main income-bringer. It was his profession that was important. So I never felt neglected; I feel that I have much of the responsibility for his success."
Source: The American Enterprise, January 1999, page 18.

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