Walter Grinder Tribute: A Biography

Walter Grinder with Leonard Liggio. Image courtesy of Elaine Hawley, IHS.

Walter Grinder grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania and graduated from Grove City College, where the chairman of the economics department was Professor Hans Sennholz. (Sennholz was in the German air force in World War II. He was interned as a prisoner of war in America when his plane was shot down in North Africa. After the war he returned to the US and received his doctorate under the direction of Ludwig von Mises at New York University). Walter went to New York University to study with Ludwig von Mises and Israel Kirzner. In New York he also participated in the discussions in the circle of Murray Rothbard.Walter taught economics at Rutgers University-Newark, which contributed to the emergence there of the Center for Study of Market Processes. The center later moved to George Mason University and today is the Mercatus Center. Walter became the executive director of the Center for Libertarian Studies in New York, and organized the successful Libertarian Scholars' Conferences at the Williams College Club, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Princeton University. In addition to articles, he wrote introductions and edited books on Austrian economics and liberty, such as Capital, Expectations, and the Market Process: Essays on the Theory of the Market Economy by Ludwig Lachmann (1977), and Albert Jay Nock's Our Enemy, The State (1973).

Walter taught economics at University College, Cork, Ireland. Returning to United States, he advised the Cato Institute on Austrian economics and he joined the staff at the Institute for Humane Studies in Menlo Park, California, where he became vice-president.. At IHS Walter focused on developing young scholars working in the areas of Austrian economics, spontaneous order, and classical liberalism. He moved with IHS to George Mason University in 1985. He retired in 1994 back to the Bay Area. There he continued to work with young scholars through the Institute for Civil Society. Walter has also been a member of the board of directors of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

(Thanks to Leonard Liggio for drafting this on short notice.)

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