Foundation for Economic Education
|Founder(s)||Leonard E. Read|
IRS exemption status: 501(c)(3)
|Tax ID No.||136006960|
|Founded||March 7, 1946|
|Headquarters||30 South Broadway
Irvington, New York 10533 
|Key people||President Lawrence W. Reed, Executive Director Carl Oberg|
|Area served||United States|
|Mission||"to study and advance the freedom philosophy."|
|Method||literature, lecture, academic scholarship|
|Part of a series on|
Established in 1946 to study and advance "economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society," the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is the oldest free-market organization in the United States. Murray Rothbard recognized FEE for creating a "crucial open center" that he credits with launching the movement.
FEE advocates for open markets and civil liberties through lectures as well as publications. The lectures are either a part of week long seminars held in multiple locations within the United States featuring multiple faculty, or feature one prominent speaker for the Evenings at FEE series. Publishing efforts include a monthly magazine, The Freeman, as well as pamphlets, lectures, and classic libertarian texts.
Originally based in the New York borough of Manhattan, FEE moved the headquarters just outside the city to an 1800s estate in Irvington. In 2010, FEE opened a branch office in downtown Atlanta.
Founded in 1946 by Leonard Read, Donaldson Brown of General Motors Corporation, professors Leo Wolman of Columbia University and Fred R. Fairchild of Yale University, Henry Hazlitt of the New York Times, Claude Robinson of Opinion Research Corporation, and David Goodrich of B. F. Goodrich, FEE is the oldest free-market organization in the United States. The William Volker Fund contributed financial support to FEE.
The initial officers of FEE included Read as president, Hazlitt as vice-president, and Goodrich as chairman. Read served as president from 1946 until his death in 1983. Perry E. Gresham immediately followed his friend Read as president of the organization in 1983. The presidency of FEE from 1983 to 1984 was held by John Sparks Sr., from 1984 to 1985 by Bob Love, from 1985 to 1988 by a series of acting presidents, then from 1988 to 1992 by Bruce Evans. After retiring from Grove City College where he taught economics, Hans Sennholz served as president of the Foundation from 1992 to 1997. Before serving as Chair of the Department of Economics at George Mason University, Donald J. Boudreaux served as president of the Foundation from 1997 to 2001. Economist, investment analyst, professor and author Mark Skousen served as president from 2001 to 2002. After the controversial decision to invite Rudy Giuliani to be the keynote speaker at FEE's annual Liberty Banquet for a $30,000 honorarium, the Board of Trustees asked for Skousen's resignation. Author and professor Richard Ebeling served as president from 2003 to 2008. Economist, author, and professor Lawrence Reed became the current president in 2008.
FEE provided a base for the international post World War II libertarian movement. Murray Rothbard credited FEE with launching the movement by providing a "crucial open center." Friedrich Hayek saw FEE as part of the inspiration for the formation of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947. Plehwe, Walpen, and Neunhöffer argued that FEE directly supported the Mont Pelerin Society.
The current FEE headquarters is located within the 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) main building on the historic seven-acre Hillside estate in Irvington, New York. Built in 1889 for medical doctor Carroll Dunham and his wife Margaret Dows, the Colonial Revival mansion was designed for 34 rooms, 16 fireplaces, and with glass designed by Irvington resident Louis Comfort Tiffany. The grounds were designed by Charles Eliot with later alterations by Frederick Law Olmsted. The Continuum Company is currently petitioning the Irvington government to allow conversion of this property into an assisted living and memory care facility.
Today the foundation defines its mission as providing access to the "economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society." That mission is what makes FEE an educational foundation, not an academic or political organization.
FEE offers week-long seminars for high school students, undergraduates, and graduate students. The Freedom Academy seminars are designed for high school students and focus on economics, history, politics, social science, philosophy, education, business, and current events.
For undergraduates, FEE offers Freedom University seminars in "History", "Current Events", "Communicating Liberty", and "Austrian Economics". History seminars are designed for university undergraduates interested in the contrast between liberty and power in the history of the United States. Study begins at the American founding, proceeds through the Great Depression noting its lasting effects, and concludes with an analysis of communism in the 20th century. Current Events seminars are designed for university undergraduates interested in current public policy issues. Topics of note include healthcare, immigration, and environmental policy. Communicating Liberty seminars are designed for university undergraduates who have previously attended a FEE seminar and wish to increase the effectiveness of their communication. Lectures and workshops center on topics like blogging, op-eds, social media, public speaking, event planning, and networking. Austrian Economics seminars are designed for university undergraduates interested in an introduction to the thoughts and thinkers of the Austrian school of economics. Topics range from free-markets to business cycles and globalization.
Additionally, "Advanced Austrian Economics" seminars are designed for university undergraduates with in depth knowledge of Austrian economics and graduate students who are interested in exploring the economic approach pioneered by Menger, Mises, Kirzner, and Hayek as well as works by current Austrian scholars Pete Boettke, Christopher Coyne, Roger Garrison, Steven Horwitz, and Pete Leeson.
Evenings at FEE 
FEE hosts speakers, usually at the headquarters, as a part of the Evenings at FEE series of events. These include speakers like author, investment advisor, and one time presidential candidate Harry Browne. Browne presented "The Greatest Mistake in American History: Letting Government Educate our Children" in December 2004. The Institute for Justice's President and General Counsel Chip Mellor's February 2008 presentation "Jurisprudence of Liberty" is another example. Since 1946 FEE has hosted and published lectures most notably by Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, Vernon Smith, Walter Williams, George Stigler, F.A. "Baldy" Harper, and William F. Buckley Jr.
In 1945 Du Pont executive Jasper Crane along with Alfred Kohlberg started a capital campaign. After contributions from J. Howard Pew, Inland Steel, Quaker Oats, and Sears enough funding was available that in 1950 FEE published the first issue of The Freeman, a magazine that is still published by FEE today. FEE publishes books, articles, and pamphlets both on paper and digitally that the foundation considers classic works on liberty. These include the notable publications I, Pencil: My Family Tree by Read, The Law by Bastiat, The Theory of Money and Credit by Mises, Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt, Anything That's Peaceful by Read, Planned Chaos by Mises, Conscription by Webster, Industry-Wide Bargaining by Wolman, Something for Nothing? by Schinnerer, Property Rights and Human Rights by Poirot, Up from Poverty: Reflections on the Ills of Public Assistance by Sennholz, The Virtue of Liberty by Machan, and Great Myths of the Great Depression by Reed.
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