Robert Hessen is an American economic and business historian, a widely published author, a professor in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford, and a senior research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Among the books he has written are Steel Titan: The Life of Charles M. Schwab and In Defense of the Corporation, and he is the editor of the multi-volume series Hoover Archival Documentaries. He has featured shorter works in such diverse publications as The New York Times, Barron's, Business History Review, Labor History, The Hastings Law Journal and the Journal of Law and Economics. His essays, discussing capitalism and presenting a private-property-and-contractual model of corporations, were published in the Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics and the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (Library of Economics and Liberty, publisher; David R. Henderson, editor).
He was associated with philosopher Ayn Rand for 25 years, contributed articles to two of her periodicals, as well as her book, Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal. He was a featured commentator on Milton Friedman's award-winning PBS television documentary series, Free to Choose.
Born in New York City, Hessen attended Queens College as an undergraduate, matriculated at Harvard University to obtain his M.A., and Columbia University to obtain his PhD Prior to joining the Hoover Institution and taking his current position at Stanford, he taught in the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.
- Brief biography from the Hoover Institution