As an undergraduate, I took several monetary theory courses where I was introduced to the ideas of the influential Milton Friedman. Friedman was a major influence in the 1970s and 1980s as economies around the world tried to get inflation under control. He was also a leading advocate of personal freedom, particularly in the economic sphere of life - you can get his Free to Choose book or watch his entire PBS Free to Choose documentary here.
The Centre for Policy Studies held an event in July 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of Friedman's birthday - click here. Niall Ferguson's speech at this event is well worth watching.