There’s been a lot of “relationship” talk on this blog lately — blame the transition between work and school, and all the introspection that comes with such a transition. With that disclaimer, it’s no secret I’m a sucker for “soul mate” stories. Rose and Milton Friedman are among the best modern examples of genuinely like-minded, gentle partners who inspire my generation of daters.
Read Diane Medved’s lovely account of the Friedmans’ idyllic relationship:
Milton and Rose were married 68 years, partners in every sense. They’d met in Professor Jacob Viner’s 1932 Economic Theory class at the University of Chicago; she the daughter of Jewish immigrants who’d escaped their Russian village of Charterisk just ahead of World War I, settling in Portland, Oregon; he a native of Rahway, New Jersey who’d never been west of the Delaware River.
They were seated alphabetically, Rose Director next to Milton Friedman. Their romance flourished, but they waited six years to marry, on June 25, 1938, until they were confident that they could be securely self-reliant financially. It was this staunch belief in independence and initiative that echoed throughout their professional collaboration, books, articles, presentations in the field of economics that shaped generations of policy and set thousands of young people, usually without their realizing it, off to create their fortunes. They promoted freedom and options–especially in the field of school choice, and millions came to understand the value of enterprise, and its role in fostering synergy and advancement through their co-written 1980 book, later to become a 10-part PBS TV series, “Free to Choose.”
How refreshing to read an account of love neither backed by transaction nor motivated by entitlement. Nor was this a Clintonian Macbeth story. This was a true partnership rife with mutual respect and support.
This blog is staunchly not a relationship blog. But I am sad to see Rose Friedman go, and sad as always to see yet another inspiring American marriage shift from the domain of “promising” to “heritage.”