An Introduction to Their Careers and Main Published Works
Chapter 29: THE 1997 NOBEL MEMORIAL LAUREATES ROBERT MERTON AND MYRON SCHOLES
THE 1997 NOBEL MEMORIAL LAUREATES ROBERT MERTON AND MYRON SCHOLES ROBERT MERTON Robert C. Merton (b. 1944) © The Nobel Foundation Robert Merton was born in New York City, New York, USA in 1944 and grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson. Merton’s father was a renowned professor of sociology at Columbia University, while his mother kept the family home; both parents were important positive inﬂuences in his formative years. One thing he got from his father that had a profound effect on Merton’s later career was a fascination with the stock market. He remembers: As early as 8 or 9 years of age, I developed an interest in money and ﬁnance, even at play. I created ﬁctitious banks … At 10 or 11, I drew up an ‘A’ list of stocks, and bought my ﬁrst one, General Motors. In college, I spent time doing some trading, learning tape watching, and hearing the lore of the market from retail traders in brokerage houses. (Nobel Foundation, 2004) Merton’s high school was small but offered a good curriculum and he divided his time there between academic work and sports. His own view is that he was a good rather than exceptional student and an athlete of no great distinction. Outside school and in addition to the stock market, Merton’s other interests were initially baseball and then cars. As a teenager he bought and built ‘street hot rods’ and raced them at drag strips. For a time a place in the automobile industry seemed to be Merton’s...
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