North grew up in southern California, the son of FBI special agent Samuel W. North, Jr., and his wife, Peggy. North converted to Christianity in high school and began frequenting right-wing bookstores in the Los Angeles area during his college years. Between 1961 and 1963, while an undergraduate student, North became acquainted with the works of Austrian School economists Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, and Murray Rothbard.
During the same period, he began reading the works of ultra-conservative Presbyterian minister Rousas John Rushdoony. North made it his life’s work to synthesize Austrian Economics with Rushdoony’s theological conservatism. Starting in 1967, North became a frequent contributor to the libertarian journal The Freeman where he had first read their work. He later joined the senior staff of the publisher, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), 1971–73. North received a PhD in history from the University of California, Riverside in 1972. His dissertation was The Concept of Property in Puritan New England, 1630–1720.
He served as research assistant for libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul in Paul’s first term (1976), and he shared a small office with the staunchly Calvinistic political philosopher, John W. Robbins, who later became a noted anti-Van Til, pro-Clark presuppositional apologist, author, and publisher. Also on the staff was economist and historian Bruce Bartlett, although in his pre-supply-side economics days. Many of North’s articles have appeared on LewRockwell.com.
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