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**Leonard Jimmie Savage** (born **Leonard Ogashevitz**; 20 November 1917 – 1 November 1971) was an American mathematician and statistician. Economist Milton Friedman said Savage was "one of the few people I have met whom I would unhesitatingly call a genius."^{[1]}

Leonard Jimmie Savage | |
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Born | |

Died | 1 November 1971 New Haven, Connecticut, US | (aged 53)

Alma mater | University of Michigan (B.A., Ph.D.) |

Known for | Savage loss Savage's representation theorem Savage's subjective expected utility representation Friedman–Savage utility function Halmos–Savage factorization theorem Hewitt–Savage zero–one law Likehood principle Minmax regret criterion Subjective expected utility Sure-thing principle |

Scientific career | |

Fields | Mathematics, Statistics |

Institutions | University of Chicago Princeton University Yale University Columbia University University of Michigan |

Doctoral advisor | Sumner Myers |

Doctoral students | Don Berry Morris H. DeGroot Roy Radner William S. Cleveland |

Savage was born and grew up in Detroit. He studied at Wayne State University in Detroit before transferring to University of Michigan, where he first majored in chemical engineering, then switched to mathematics, graduating in 1938 with a Bachelor's degree. He continued at the University of Michigan with a PhD on differential geometry in 1941 under the supervision of Sumner Byron Myers.^{[2]} Savage subsequently worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Yale University, and the Statistical Research Group at Columbia University. Though his thesis advisor was Sumner Myers, he also credited Milton Friedman and W. Allen Wallis as statistical mentors.

During World War II, Savage served as chief "statistical" assistant to John von Neumann, the mathematician credited with describing the principles upon which electronic computers should be based.^{[3]} Later he was one of the participants in the *Macy conferences* on cybernetics.^{[4]}

His most noted work was the 1954 book *The Foundations of Statistics*, in which he put forward a theory of subjective and personal probability and statistics which forms one of the strands underlying Bayesian statistics and has applications to game theory.

One of Savage's indirect contributions was his discovery of the work of Louis Bachelier on stochastic models for asset prices and the mathematical theory of option pricing. Savage brought the work of Bachelier to the attention of Paul Samuelson. It was from Samuelson's subsequent writing that "random walk" (and subsequently Brownian motion) became fundamental to mathematical finance.

In 1951 he introduced the minimax regret criterion used in decision theory. The Hewitt–Savage zero–one law and Friedman–Savage utility function are (in part) named after him, as is the Savage Award given annually by the International Society for Bayesian Analysis for the best dissertations in Bayesian analysis.

**^**Friedman, Milton; Friedman, Rose (1998).*Two Lucky People: Memoirs*. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 146. ISBN 0-226-26414-9.**^**O'Connor, J J; Robertson, E F (2010). "Leonard Jimmie Savage (1917–1971)".*Biographies*.**^**Hacking, Ian (2001).*An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic*. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 184. ISBN 0-521-77287-7.**^**Heims, Steve (1991).*The Cybernetics Group*. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. p. 348. ISBN 978-0262082006.

- Leonard Jimmie Savage papers (MS 695). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. [1]

- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Leonard Jimmie Savage",
*MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive*, University of St Andrews - Leonard Jimmie Savage at the Mathematics Genealogy Project