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Lived: 1723-1790

Adam Smith is the father of free market capitalism and one of the key minds in the creation of the science of economics. Born in Scotland in 1723, Smith attended the University of Glasgow as well as Oxford University. Making his living through academia - lecturing, tutoring, teaching - Smith would create his masterwork, "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" in 1776, launching him to instant fame and redefining the way merchants in England and America worked. Citing the power of the "invisible hand" to guide prices in a market economy, Smith's work helped pull Europe out of its former belief in mercantilism, and would make Smith famous into the present day.