Having spent his life inspired by liberty’s greatest thinkers, including Adam Smith, Friedrich von Hayek, John Locke and Walter Williams, Bob Chitester brought Milton Friedman to public television in 1980. Chitester served as executive producer for Friedman's landmark PBS series Free To Choose, as well as the resulting book—a best-seller. Ever since, our founder has aimed to expose a world hindered by big government and to Friedman’s concepts of limited government, individualism, and the US Constitution.
The Friedmans, like Chitester, saw the value in communicating the ideas of the American Founding Fathers, the principles of economics, and Libertarianism: "Bringing these ideas to the large audience that a TV documentary could attract excited us." Further reflecting on the series, Friedman wrote: "Bob hit me at a particularly good time. I had just retired from active teaching at the University of Chicago, and was in the process of moving from Chicago to San Francisco to join the Hoover Institution at Stanford University."
Before his death in 2006, Friedman concluded, "In the end, the project turned into the most exciting experience of our lives, so it is hard to reconstruct the doubts we had in advance about undertaking it." Our efforts have led directly to our national and international prosperity. For example, Mart Laar, the first post-Soviet Prime Minister of Estonia, says it was Milton Friedman's book Free To Choose that guided him in shaping the new Estonia. Millions of people around the world have benefited from the ideas Friedman shared in this classic book and TV series.