Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was a philosopher, Austrian School economist, sociologist and classical liberal.
At the age of twelve Ludwig spoke fluent Yiddish, German, Polish, and French, read Latin, and could understand Ukrainian.
In 1900, he attended the University of Vienna, becoming influenced by the works of Carl Menger. Mises later received an honorary doctorate from Grove City College.
In the years from 1904 to 1914, Mises attended lectures given by the prominent Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. There he developed friendship with prominent sociologist Max Weber. Mises taught as a Privatdozent at the Vienna University in the years from 1913 to 1934 while formally serving as secretary at the Vienna Chamber of Commerce from 1909 to 1934. In these roles, he became one of the closest economic advisers of Engelbert Dollfuss, the austrofascist but strongly anti-Nazi Austrian Chancellor, and later to Otto von Habsburg, the Christian democratic politician and claimant to the throne of Austria (which had been legally abolished in 1918). Friends and students of Mises in Europe included Wilhelm Röpke and Alfred Müller-Armack (influential advisors to German chancellor Ludwig Erhard), Jacques Rueff (monetary advisor to Charles de Gaulle), Gottfried Haberler (later a professor at Harvard), Lord Lionel Robbins (of the London School of Economics), and Italian President Luigi Einaudi.
In 1934, Mises left Austria for Geneva, Switzerland, where he was a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies until 1940.
In 1940, fearing the prospect of Germany taking control over Switzerland, Mises left Europe and emigrated to New York City. There he became a visiting professor at New York University. He held this position from 1945 until his retirement in 1969, though he was not salaried by the university. Instead, businessmen such as Lawrence Fertig funded him and his work. In 1947, Mises became one of the founding members of the Mont Pelerin Society.
Mises contributed articles to American Opinion, the journal of the John Birch Society, and was a member of its Editorial Advisory Board.
Despite his growing fame, Mises listed himself plainly in the New York phone directory and welcomed students into his home. He retired from teaching at the age of 87, then the oldest active professor in America.
Praxeology, methodological individualism firmly rejecting positivism and materialism
The only certain fact about Russian affairs under the Soviet regime with regard to which all people agree is: that the standard of living of the Russian masses is much lower than that of the masses in the country which is universally considered as the paragon of capitalism, the United States of America. If we were to regard the Soviet regime as an experiment, we would have to say that the experiment has clearly demonstrated the superiority of capitalism and the inferiority of socialism.