Basic Biographical Information
Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher and political economist who achieved never-ending fame for his authorship of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations(1776). While the exact date of Smith’s birth is unknown, we know that he was baptized in the small village of Kirkaldy, Fife, Scotland, on June 16, 1723 (old calendar: June 5, 1723). Smith’s father was no longer alive at the time. All contemporary accounts describe Smith as always tall for his age, and also as an odd looking fellow with “bulging eyes.” In 1738, at about age 15, Smith entered Glasgow University on scholarship, where he had the “never-to-be-forgotten” good fortune to study with Frances Hutcheson. Smith entered Balliol College, Oxford, in 1740, where he remained until 1746, and where he became knowledgeable, especially in European literature. About the years 1748–1750, Smith became acquainted with the likes of Lord Kames and David Hume, and in 1751 he was...
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