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Ben Bernanke Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.


Birth date: December 13, 1953

Birth place: Augusta, Georgia

Birth name: Ben Shalom Bernanke

Father: Philip Bernanke, a pharmacist

Mother: Edna (Friedman) Bernanke, a substitute teacher

Marriage: Anna (Friedmann) Bernanke (1978-present)

Children: Alyssa, June 21, 1986; Joel, December 5, 1982

Education: Harvard University, B.A. in Economics, 1975 – graduated summa cum laude, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D. in Economics, 1979

Other Facts

Author of textbooks, scholarly articles and books on a variety of economic issues.

Previously served as the director of the Monetary Economics Program of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and as a member of its Business Cycle Dating Committee.

Co-winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize for Economics.


1979-1985 – Associate professor at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.

1985-1996 – Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

1996-2002Chairman of the Princeton University Economics Department and the Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Economics and Public Affairs.

2002-2005 – Member of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System.

June 21, 2005-January 2006 – Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

October 24, 2005 – US President George W. Bush nominates Bernanke to replace Alan Greenspan as the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

January 31, 2006 – Confirmed by the Senate to succeed Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Bernanke is appointed to a four-year term as chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee which expires January 31, 2010. He is also appointed to a 14-year term as a member on the Board of the Federal Open Market Committee.

February 1, 2006-January 31, 2014 – Chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve.

August 25, 2009 – US President Barack Obama nominates Bernanke for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

December 16, 2009 – Named Time’s Person of the Year.

January 28, 2010 – Is confirmed by the US Senate for a second four-year term by a vote of 70-30.

February 3, 2014 – Janet Yellen is sworn in as his successor as head of the Federal Reserve. Bernanke joins the Brookings Institution’s Economic Studies program as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence.

April 16, 2015 – The New York Times reports that Bernanke has been hired by the hedge fund Citadel LLC as adviser.

April 29, 2015 – Pimco says it’s hiring Bernanke as senior adviser.

October 2015 – Bernanke’s memoir, “The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath,” is published.

2015-2016 – Vice president of the American Economic Association.

2017-2019 – President of the American Economic Association.

June 16, 2020 – Bernanke, Yellen and over 150 economists sign a letter published by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth asking Congress to provide additional economic relief in response to Covid-19.

July 17, 2020 – Bernanke and Yellen testify in a remote hearing with the House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, urging for further congressional relief.

April 26, 2021 – Is elected to serve as a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

May 17, 2022 – Bernanke’s book, “21st Century Monetary Policy: The Federal Reserve from the Great Inflation to COVID-19,” is published.

October 10, 2022 – Bernanke, Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig are awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for their work on banks and financial crises.

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