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About Lawrence Reed

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. He previously served for 21 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan (1987-2008). He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

In June 2018, he announced that FEE would commence a search for his successor as president. In May 2019, he became president emeritus and Humphreys Family senior fellow.

He holds a B.A. in economics from Grove City College (1975) and an M.A. degree in history from Slippery Rock State University (1978), both in Pennsylvania. He holds two honorary doctorates, one from Central Michigan University (public administration, 1993) and Northwood University (laws, 2008).

Reed has authored over 1,500 columns and articles in newspapers, magazines and journals in the United States and abroad. His writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, among many others. He has authored or coauthored eight books, the most recent being Real Heroes: Inspiring True Stories of Courage, Character and Conviction. He is frequently interviewed on radio talk shows and has appeared as a guest on numerous television programs.

Reed has delivered at least 75 speeches annually in the past 35 years in virtually every state and in dozens of countries from Bulgaria to China to Bolivia. His best-known lectures include “Seven Principles of Sound Policy” and “Great Myths of the Great Depression,” both of which have been translated into more than a dozen languages and distributed worldwide.

His interests in political and economic affairs have taken him as a freelance journalist to 85 countries on six continents. He is a member of the prestigious Mont Pelerin Society and an adviser to numerous organizations around the world. He served for 15 years as a member of the board (and for one term as president) of the State Policy Network. His numerous recognitions include the Champion of Freedom Award from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Grove City College and the Citizen Warrior Award from Heirs of the Republic.

Over his nearly 11 years as the 10th President of FEE, the organization experienced explosive growth by all measures of output and impact—in contributions, seminar attendance, web page visits (www.fee.org), online courses, school and campus events, online content, publications, videos, etc. His presidency was the longest and most consequential of any since that of the organization’s founder, Leonard E. Read.

He serves on the board of directors of Just Facts.com and the Cochran Mill Nature Center and on numerous advisory boards including those of the British Conservation Alliance and Libertarian Christian Institute.

He is a native of Pennsylvania and a 30-year resident of Michigan, and now resides in Newnan, Georgia, where he writes a column for the Newnan Times-Herald.

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You can reach Mr. Reed via email at lreed@fee.org. See below for list of speech topics.

Speech Topics

(Note: Though the standard length for each of these talks is about 45 minutes, Mr. Reed can adapt any of them to a time frame as brief as 20 minutes or as long as 60 minutes. Each can also be adapted to audiences from ages 17 and up, and each one advances a free market perspective in its own informative and entertaining way.)

1.  "My Favorite President" – (subject: Grover Cleveland, one of America’s best and most pro-liberty chief executives).

2.  "Witch-Hunting for Robber Barons: The Standard Oil Story" – (subject: competition, monopoly, and John D. Rockefeller; special focus on the common charges against Standard and other large firms).

3.  "The Promise of Privatization" – (subject:  what it is, who's doing it, why it works, how to do it so it won't fail).

4.  "Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy" – (subject: the philosophic and economic pillars of a free society and government’s proper role).

5.  "Great Myths of the Great Depression" – (subject: why it happened, how the government prolonged it, policies to avoid so it won't happen again).

6.  "Learning the Lessons of Ancient Rome" – (subject: observations on the reasons for the rise and fall of one of history’s greatest civilizations, and their relevance for our time).

7.  "Adam Smith and the Birth of Economics" – (subject: how Smith changed the world with his devastating critique of mercantilism and advocacy of free trade and free markets).

8. "Free Trade vs. Protectionism" – (subject: the case for free trade from basic, free market principles and incorporates responses to protectionist arguments).

9. "A Student's Essay That Changed the World" – (subject: the inspiring story of Thomas Clarkson and the British anti-slavery movement, one of finest hours in history for the cause of human liberty).

10. "The Origin, Nature and History of Money" – (subject: how money evolved naturally in the marketplace but was eventually usurped by revenue-hungry governments; includes fascinating stories of notable hyperinflations).

11. "The Silver Panic of 1893" – (subject: 19th century U.S. monetary history here made understandable, from bimetallism to greenback inflation to the gold standard).

12. "The Difference One Can Make: Real Heroes" – (subject: depending on time, the stories of three to six incredibly inspiring but lesser known individuals whose courage and character teach volumes to people of all ages; based on Mr. Reed’s 2016 book, “Real Heroes: Inspiring True Stories of Courage, Character and Conviction”).

13.  “Liberty and Character” – (subject: the indispensable connection between the two; without character, a free society is not possible; without liberty, character cannot be exercised).

14.  “Presidents and Poverty: Wisdom from 19th Century American Chief Executives” – (subject: a look at how our first 25 presidents saw the role of government in alleviating poverty). Note: Delivered from a prepared text.

15. “Excuse Me, Professor” – (subject: A synopsis of Mr. Reed’s 2015 book by this title; includes samples of some of the 52 “progressive” myths featured in the book and the rebuttals to each).

16. “Was Jesus a Socialist?” – (subject: see this essay on line: http://bit.ly/2b6guEd).