George Stigler's Tenure Call
By David Henderson
A friend of mine who used to be a colleague at the Naval Postgraduate School, Patrick J. Parker, was a young student taking his first economics courses at Columbia University in the late 1940s. He was sitting in George Stigler’s office one day when the phone rang. Here’s what he heard on Stigler’s end:
Hullo. [If you ever knew Stigler, you’ll knew why I used a “u” rather than an “e.” That’s how he spoke.]
Oh, thank you very much.
Then Stigler hung up and, beaming, turned to Pat Parker and said, “I’ve just received tenure. I never have to work again.”