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The Alan Greenspan Timeline

Although he is not famous as an Objectivist (nor is it clear that he still considers himself an Objectivist), arguably the most famous person associated with Objectivism is Alan Greenspan. As chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, he was influential nationally and internationally. Prior to his international fame as a policymaker, Greenspan was well-known to Objectivists as a close friend of Ayn Rand and the author of articles published in her books and magazines. The timeline below summarizes some significant events in Greenspan's life and his relationship with Ayn Rand.

Greenspan Timeline
DateEvent
March 6, 1926Alan Greenspan is born to Herbert and Rose Greenspan in the Washinton Heights area of New York City.
Winter 1943Greenspan, an aspiring musician, enrolls in the Juilliard School to study the clarinet.
January 6, 1944Greenspan drops out of Juilliard to join Henry Jerome and His Orchestra, a travelling swing band.
September 1944Greenspan quits the band and enrolls in New York University's School of Commerce.
May 1948Greenspan receives a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University.
1950Greenspan receives a Master of Arts degree from New York University.
1950Greenspan begins graduate studies at Columbia University. To pay his bills, he takes a job working for the National Industrial Conference Board. He subsequently drops out from Columbia.
1951Alan Greenspan begins dating artist Joan Mitchell. Mitchell introduces Greenspan to novelist Ayn Rand.
1952Joan Mitchell and Alan Greenspan are married. They obtain an annulment 10 months later.
1953-54Greenspan begins to develop a serious interest in Ayn Rand's philosophical ideas, which will later be known as Objectivism. He attends regular Saturday night salons at Rand's apartment, which include the opportunity to read draft sections of Rand's forthcoming novel, Atlas Shrugged.
1954Greenspan becomes a partner with William Townsend in the consulting firm Townsend-Greenspan and Company.
October 10, 1957Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged is published.
November 3, 1957The New York Times publishes a letter written by Greenspan in response to a negative review of Atlas Shrugged.
January 1958The Nathaniel Branden Lectures (later renamed the Nathaniel Branden Institute, or NBI) are begun to teach Ayn Rand's ideas. Greenspan becomes one of NBI's associate lecturers, delivering a lecture on "The Economics of a Free Society."
1958William Townsend dies. Greenspan buys out his half of the company and continues to operate it under the Townsend-Greenspan name.
September 25, 1961Greenspan presents a paper critical of antitrust laws to the Antitrust Seminar of the National Association of Business Economists.
January 1962Greenspan's article "The Crisis Over Berlin" is published in Rand's magazine The Objectivist Newsleter.
August 1963Greenspan's article "The Assault on Integrity" is published in The Objectivist Newsleter.
July 1966Greenspan's article "Gold and Economic Freedom" is published in The Objectivist.
1966Rand's essay collection Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal is published. It includes three items written by Greenspan.
1968Having been introduced to former vice-president Richard Nixon by a mutual friend, Greenspan takes a position in Nixon's presidential election campaign. After Nixon's victory, Greenspan is offered a position in the administration, but declines.
August 23, 1968Ayn Rand breaks off all relations with Nathaniel Branden. He subsequently resigns from The Objectivist. On September 3, Rand also breaks with Barbara Branden. NBI is closed.
October 1968Rand announces her break with the Brandens in The Objectivist. In the same issue, NBI's associate lecturers, including Alan Greenspan, issue a brief statement repudiating the Brandens.
March 1969Greenspan accepts an appointment to the Commission for an All-Volunteer Armed Forces (the Gates Commission).
February 20, 1970The Gates Commission recommends that the military draft be abolished.
1974Nixon selects Greenspan to head his Council of Economic Advisers, but resigns the presidency soon after, making Gerald Ford the new President. Ford has the option of selecting a different chairman, but decides to stick with Greenspan.
September 4, 1974Greenspan is sworn in as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Ayn Rand attends the ceremony.
January 20, 1977Jimmy Carter becomes President of the United States, ending Greenspan's appointment to the Council of Economic Advisers.
1977Greenspan receives a Ph.D. from New York University.
February 10, 1981President Ronald Reagan creates an Economic Policy Advisory Board, with Greenspan as one of its members.
December 16, 1981President Reagan creates a National Commission on Social Security Reform and appoints Greenspan as its chairman.
March 6, 1982Ayn Rand dies.
March 8, 1982Greenspan attends a memorial service for Rand, followed by her funeral the next day.
January 15, 1983The Greenspan Commission issues its report on Social Security reform.
1984Greenspan begins dating journalist Andrea Mitchell.
June 2, 1987President Reagan nominates Greenspan for chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Greenspan will also complete the unfished term on the Board of Governors for resigning chairman Paul Volcker.
July 31, 1987Townsend-Greenspan is closed.
August 11, 1987Greenspan is sworn in as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
July 10, 1991President George Bush nominates Greenspan for a second term as Fed chairman and for a full 14-year term as a member of the Fed's Board of Governors.
February 27, 1992The US Senate confirms Greenspan for his second term as Fed chairman and for a full term as member of the Board of Governors. He is sworn in on March 3.
February 22, 1996President Bill Clinton nominates Greenspan for a third term as Fed chairman.
June 20, 1996The US Senate confirms Greenspan for his third term as Fed chairman. He begins his term that same day.
December 5, 1996Greenspan makes a speech in which he refers to "irrational exuberance" in the stock market.
April 6, 1997Greenspan marries Andrea Mitchell.
January 4, 2000President Clinton nominates Greenspan for a fourth term as Fed chairman.
February 3, 2000The US Senate confirms Greenspan for his fourth term as Fed chairman.
June 20, 2000Greenspan begins his fourth term as Fed chairman.
May 18, 2004President George W. Bush nominates Greenspan for a fifth term as Fed chairman.
June 17, 2004The US Senate confirms Greenspan for his fifth term as Fed chairman. His new term begins on June 19.
October 24, 2005President George W. Bush nominates Ben Bernanke to succeed Greenspan as Fed chairman. Greenspan issues a statement supporting the nomination.
January 31, 2006Greenspan's term on the Federal Reserve Board ends.
2007Greenspan's The Age of Turbulence, including autobiographical material about his relationship with Rand, is published.

Sources

Sources used for this chronology include Justin Martin's Greenspan: The Man Behind Money, Jerome Tuccille's Alan Shrugged, Barbara Branden's The Passion of Ayn Rand, and various news reports.

Additional keywords: Ann Rand, Anne Rand, Any Rand, Allan Greenspan


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