David Ricardo made essential contributions to classical economics and has been called the one of the most influential classical economists.

Below is an excerpt from a biography of David Ricardo included with our books.

Ricardo was born on 18 April 1772 at a Jewish family in London, England. At the age of 14 he entered into business with his father who had made a fortune on the London Stock Exchange.

At age 21, Ricardo was married with a Quaker, Priscilla Anne Wilkinson. His parents disowned him due to the unwelcome marriage by the family. Without family support, he started his own business as a stockbroker and he became quite successful in the business.

Ricardo became interested in economics after reading The Wealth of Nations in 1799 on a vacation to Bath near London. This was Ricardo’s first contact with economics.

The London Stock Exchange, where David Ricardo once worked.
Bromesberrow Place, where David Ricardo once lived.

In 1819, Ricardo took a seat in the House of Commons and he held the seat until his death in 1823.

Ricardo had many close friends including James Mill, Jeremy Bentham, and Thomas Malthus.

David Ricardo retired from the Exchange at the age of 43 with estimated at about £600,000. He then purchased and moved to Gatcombe Park, an estate in Gloucestershire.