Paul Adolph Volcker, Jr. (born September 5, 1927) is an American economist. He was the Chairman of the Federal Reserve under United States Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan from August 1979 to August 1987. He is widely credited with ending the high levels of inflation seen in the United States in the 1970s and early 1980s. He was the Chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board under President Barack Obama from February 2009 until January 2011.
Volcker was born in Cape May, New Jersey, the son of Alma Louise (née Klippel) and Paul Adolph Volcker. His grandparents were all German immigrants. Volcker grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, where his father was the township's first municipal manager. As a child, he attended his mother's Lutheran church, while his father went to an Episcopal church. Volcker graduated from Teaneck High School.
Volcker's undergraduate education was at Princeton University; he graduated in 1949. He earned his M.A. in political economy from Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Graduate School of Public Administration in 1951 and then attended the London School of Economics from 1951 to 1952 as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Fellow, under the Rotary's Ambassadorial Scholarships program.