Friedrich August von Hayek (May 8, 1899 – March 23, 1992) was an Austrian-British economist and political philosopher known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought in the mid-20th century. He is considered one of the most important economists and political philosophers of the 20th century and one of the most influential members of the Austrian school of economics. He also made significant contributions in the fields of jurisprudence and cognitive science.
Hayek shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in economics with ideological rival Gunnar Myrdal “for their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena.” He also received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991. He was a major force for change from the dominant interventionist and Keynesian policies of the first part of the 20th century back toward classical liberalism after the 1980s.