The founder of modern economics, Adam Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, in 1723, six months after his father’s death. A reclusive, absentminded scholar, he went to Glasgow University at the age of 14, then studied at Oxford University for six years before returning to Scotland to take up a professorship in logic at Glasgow University. In 1750, he met and became close friends with the philosopher David Hume. In 1764, Smith resigned his post at Glasgow to travel to France as tutor to the Duke of Buccleuch, a Scottish aristocrat. In France, he met the physiocrat group of economists and the philosopher Voltaire, and he began writing The Wealth of Nations. He devoted 10 years to the book before accepting a position as Commissioner of Customs. He died in 1790. 

Key works: 1759 The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1762 Lectures on Jurisprudence, 1776 An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

Link to the History of Economic Thought Website