During our 21-year history, the staff and adjunct scholars of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy have been honored with the opportunity to associate with more than a few intellectual luminaries. Of these, perhaps none shines the light of intellectual gravitas more brightly than Mackinac Center adjunct scholar and supporter, Paul J. McCracken.
Today is his 94th birthday and the Center wishes him well.
A Ph.D. economist, McCracken's professional career has led him to prestigious posts with the Federal Reserve, National Bureau of Economic Research, University of Michigan and three U.S. Presidents. For his bedrock principles he has long been held in high regard by colleagues in both the private and public sectors, as well as the academy. Asked to comment for this article, Mackinac Center President Emeritus Lawrence W. Reed said without hesitation that Dr. McCracken is "a first-rate economist, a straight shooter, and - with emphasis here - a man of towering integrity."
Two years ago I called Dr. McCracken at his home in Ann Arbor to wish him well on his 92nd birthday. For those who don't know him, a little background is in order: he is a very humble man and one who likes to get right to the point. So, after extending my good wishes I should not have been surprised to get the following response:
"Thank you. Give my best to everyone at the Center. Bye."
However brief our conversations they always delight for one simple reason. I know that I'm chatting with living history.
Born in 1915, Dr. McCracken served three United States presidents, starting with Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. He later was the Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors during the Nixon administration, and acted as an advisor to Ronald Reagan. McCracken has contributed to the economic history that we younger economists only read about and discuss in largely abstract terms.
It is my sincere wish that Dr. McCracken enjoy many more good and productive years.
Happy Birthday, Dr. McCracken.