A bald man with a gray beard and tired eyes is sitting in his oversize Washington office.
Ben Shalom Bernanke was born in December 13, 1953. He is an American economist and currently chairman of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States.
Bernanke was born in Augusta, Georgia, and was raised on East Jefferson Street in Dillon, South Carolina.
His father Philip was a pharmacist and part-time theater manager. His mother Edna was an elementary school teacher. Bernanke has two younger siblings. His brother, Seth, is a lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina. His sister, Sharon, is a longtime administrator at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
As a teenager, Bernanke worked construction on a new hospital and waited tables at a restaurant at nearby South of the Border, a roadside attraction in his hometown of Dillon, before leaving for college.To support himself throughout college, he worked during the summers at South of the Border.
Bernanke taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business from 1979 until 1985, was a visiting professor at New York University and went on to become a tenured professor at Princeton University in the Department of Economics. He chaired that department from 1996 until September 2002, when he went on public service leave. He resigned his position at Princeton July 1, 2005.
The young Bernanke played alto sax in his high school marching band. He was also a member of a four-man band called Fancy Pants; all of its members wore plaid trousers.
Bernanke spent summers working construction at a hospital and waiting tables at the South of the Border tourist trap, experiences that helped him appreciate working class values. He eventually would move on to Harvard, where he drifted through three majors before settling on economics.
After Harvard, Bernanke went on to pursue a Ph.D. at MIT, where he met — on a blind date — Anna, a student at Wellesley, who would become his wife. They have two children, a son in medical school and a daughter who has just finished college.
On February 1, 2006, President Bush appointed Bernanke to a fourteen-year term as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and to a four-year term as Chairman. By virtue of the chairmanship, he sits on the Financial Stability Oversight Board that oversees the Troubled Asset Relief Program. He also serves as Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee, the System’s principal monetary policy making body.
Bernanke has given several lectures at the London School of Economics on monetary theory and policy and has written three textbooks on macroeconomics, and one on microeconomics. He was the Director of the Monetary Economics Program of the National Bureau of Economic Research and the editor of the American Economic Review. He is among the 50 most published economists in the world according to IDEAS/RePEc.
The chairman works out at the Fed’s squash court, which has been converted for basketball.
” Bernanke says. “The scars of unemployment can last a long time.”
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