Milton Friedman was one of the greatest economists of the 20th century. He just passed away today at the age of 94. Most of you might not know who he is but both this class and, to a greater extent, the macro class you will take are heavily influenced by his thought (even if the professor does not mention his name.
The New York Times has an good obituary here.
Here are some other reactions.
The is a great summary of his beliefs:
"Outside monetary affairs Friedman remained a mainstream economist. As he himself wrote in Capitalism and Freedom (a book published in 1962 which meant went much deeper than Free to Choose) he could offer no hard and fast line for the limits of government intervention. But he believed that an objective study of the facts, case by case, combined with an underlying belief in personal choice, would usually swing the argument in favour of private provision in the market place"