Ben Bernanke biography
Economist Ben Bernanke was born on December 13, 1953. He graduated from Harvard University in 1975. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bernanke earned a Ph.D. in 1979. He then became an economics professor at Stanford University and later at Princeton University. He joined the Federal Reserve System in 2002, and in 2006 he became chairman, replacing Alan Greenspan. During the economic meltdown of 2008, Bernanke worked to stabilize the banking industry. He was appointed to a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve in 2010.
Early Life and Education
Born on December 13, 1953, in Augusta, Georgia, Benjamin Shalom Bernanke has been one of the most influential figures in American economic policy. He grew up in Dillon, South Carolina, where his father worked as a pharmacist. A bright child, Bernanke won a state spelling bee at the age of 11.
According to The New York Times, Bernanke earned the highest SAT scores in South Carolina for the year he sought college admission. He was accepted at Harvard University where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1975. Moving to another Cambridge, Massachusetts educational institution, Bernanke continued his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1979.
Professor and Economist
After completing his doctorate, Ben Bernanke moved out west to become an economics professor at Stanford University. He then went to Princeton University in the mid-1980s. In addition to teaching classes, Bernanke also became involved in the Federal Reserve System as a scholar and advisor.
In 2002, Bernanke left academia for a post with the Federal Reserve. He had been nominated for the position by President George W. Bush. Three years later, Bush tapped Bernanke to serve as the chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers. Bernanke soon moved into an even more prestigious position.
Chairman of the Federal Reserve
In October 2005, Ben Bernanke was nominated to replace Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve. He received strong support for his nomination from many leading politicians, including Senator John Kerry and Senator Charles Schumer. In January 2006, Bernanke began his first term as chairman.
As chairman, Bernanke helped guide monetary policy during times of economic trouble. He sought to find solutions to aid failing financial institutions in 2008, including supporting the takeover of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase and the $85 billion bailout of A.I.G.
In 2010, Bernanke was nominated for a second term by President Barack Obama. This time around, he found himself under scrutiny for his actions before the 2008 financial crisis. Despite some opposition, Bernanke was confirmed for his second and final term. He will leave the post in January 2014. In October 2013, Obama nominated Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve's vice chair, as his replacement.