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Last Email From Milton Friedman


When I learned that illness would make it impossible for Milton to attend the NR gathering in San Francisco this past September, I sent him an email, expressing the hope that, agnostic though he may have been, he wouldn’t think it presumptuous of me to say a prayer for him. Below, his reply. Brief though it is, it hints at an aspect of Milton I saw over and over during the years I knew him here at the Hoover Institution: No one more deeply appreciated the sheer goodness of life.

Dear Peter:

Of course, it is not presumptuous. I am grateful for the sentiment, whether I believe it can affect the results or not.

I remain an optimist and I certainly have nothing to complain about. God, nature, chance–something has ME treated me very well.