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Brooks Wilson's Economics Blog: Portraits on U.S. Currency

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Portraits on U.S. Currency

Politicians are over represented on our currency creating the false impression that service through elected office is our nation’s highest calling.  I suggest that the portraits of the following great Americans be added to those on our currency and that the portraits change periodically much as portraits the portraits on stamps.

  1. William Gates (dollar Bill)
  2. Amadeo Giannini
  3. George Mellon
  4. Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea (put them on coins that people carry)
  5. Emily Dickinson
  6. John Steinbeck
  7. Mark Twain
  8. William Rittenhouse
  9. Joseph Smith
  10. Martin Luther King Jr.
  11. Muhammad Ali
  12. Babe Ruth
  13. Adam Smith (technically not an U.S. citizen)
  14. Milton Friedman
  15. Luis Walter Alvarez
  16. Thomas Edison
  17. George Washington Carver
  18. Barbara Streisand
  19. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel (two dollar bill)

Certainly, many other great Americans deserve the honor of appearing on our currency.


  1. Morgan Heeke3/7/11 11:01 PM

    I would add Dwight D. Eisenhower, Benjamin Franklin, Franklin Roosevelt, and Albert Einstein.

  2. Brittney Eskew

    I would like to see Jane Addams, Bill Gates, Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright brothers, and Henry Ford. There are thousands of individuals other than politicians who have earned the right to be recognized. However, I don't think we should change the portraits not even only periodically. I feel it would be hard to keep up with making it easier to counterfeit.

  3. Even though I wouldn't mind seeing some new faces I don't think that changing the faces on the currency would be very economic. The cost in reprinting the new bills with the new faces would cost taxpayers.