A good friend of the Locke Foundation and a good friend of mine, economist Dr. William (Bill) Peterson, passed away last night at the age of 91. Bill was a student of the great Austrian school economist Ludwig von Mises at New York University and later became his colleague at the same institution. Bill had a career that would be the envy of any academic economist. From his bio at Mises.org:
During his academic career, Peterson has served as assistant to the dean, associate professor and professor of economics in the Graduate School of Business Administration of New York University, where he was a colleague and friend of Ludwig von Mises; John David Campbell Professor of American Business in the American Graduate School of International Management in Arizona; Scott L. Probasco. Jr. Professor of Free Enterprise and Director, Center for Economic Education, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Distinguished Burrows T. and Mabel L. Lundy Emeritus Professor of Business Philosophy, Campbell University in North Carolina; Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, where he continues to serve as Adjunct Scholar.
As is noted, he had a strong connection to North Carolina. Bill’s last academic position before retiring was as the Lundy Chair of Business Philosophy at Campbell University. While he was there he founded the Adam Smith Club which is a student organization that continues to exist. I was Bill’s replacement as Lundy Chair when he retired in 1993. It was upon his very strong recommendation to then Dean the late Thomas Folwell that I was offered the position. Bill and I originally met and became good friends when I organized an Austrian economics colloquium in the Washington DC area in the late 1980s. It was while I was at the Institute for Research for on the Economics of Taxation in Washington that Bill alerted me to the fact that he would be retiring from Campbell and asked if I was interested in being recommended for the position. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to be the successor to Bill Peterson. It is because of Bill that I now call myself a North Carolinian and, by implication, that I work at the John Locke Foundation.
Bill was well known in the halls of JLF. Over the years, he served as an academic adviser to the Locke Foundation and gave many presentations to Locke audiences, enlightening us on basic principles of both economics and liberty.
Bill you will be missed and in our memories always.