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Bernanke: A path to the Fed
The man tapped to succeed Greenspan as Fed chief currently advises Bush on economic issues.
October 24, 2005: 6:00 PM EDT
Ben Bernanke
Ben Bernanke

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Ben Bernanke currently serves as the chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, which provides the president with analysis and advice on economic issues.

Before his appointment to the council in 2005, Bernanke served as a governor of the Federal Reserve, the nation's central bank.

As chairman of Princeton's economics department before joining the Fed in 2002, Bernanke has said he always thought he would be an academic lifer.

With interests in monetary policy and macroeconomic history, Bernanke has published extensively on the Great Depression and a wide variety of economic issues. He also has been known as a strong advocate of transparency at the central bank.

Born on December 13, 1953, in Augusta, Georgia, Bernanke was raised in South Carolina.

He began collecting academic honors early, winning the South Carolina state spelling bee in 1965. He was eliminated at the nationals, however, when he misspelled "edelweiss."

He earned his B.A. in economics at Harvard University in 1975, where he won the award for best undergraduate economics thesis as well the prize for outstanding senior in the economics department.

After receiving his Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1979, he started his teaching career at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.

He left Stanford for Princeton in 1985, where he spent 20 years on the faculty as a Professor of Economics and Public Affairs. He also has served as a visiting faculty member at other institutions, including MIT.

During his time at Princeton, Bernanke got an education in public service while serving two terms as a member of his local school board in Montgomery Township in New Jersey. The academic turned policy-maker has said that experience formed many of the skills he used while at the Fed.

He's held a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Sloan Fellowship, and also has served as editor of the American Economic Review.

He's published many articles on a wide variety of economic issues, including monetary policy and macroeconomics, and he is the author of several scholarly books and two textbooks.

Bernanke and his wife, Anna, have two children.

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