Gene Fama’s comments
Eugene F. Fama
Published online: 9 February 2010
Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010
A memorial was held for Larry Fisher on October 17, 2008. It was attended by Larry’s
family, colleagues, friends, and students from around the country. Papers were presented
(of course) and memories shared. Professor Eugene Fama, of the University of Chicago
could not attend, but recorded some thoughts that were played at the memorial. Below is a
transcript of his comments.
Hi, I am Gene Fama and I have been asked to say a few words about Larry Fisher. Larry
was a teacher of mine—he was on my thesis committee in the early 1960s and I attended a
ﬁnance workshop which he ran at that time. Then, after I graduated, he was a colleague and
a good friend until he left in 1978.
Larry, of course, as all of you know, had a great research record but—what I would like
to emphasize more is the contribution he made to research that nobody acknowledges very
much and that was in his role in putting together the CRSP tapes. It amazes me to this
day…. I am the Director of CRSP and do not direct much of anything. It amazes me to this
day that Larry thought about absolutely everything that had to be done in order to create a
clean ﬁle of stock returns. It seems like something that would be relatively easy to do. But
then when you see all the capital changes and dividends and everything else that have to be
accounted for, you realize it is an incredibly complicated job. To put it into perspective, the
CRSP ﬁles are the foundation of conservatively, one third of the research in Finance in the
last 40 years; so Larry had a big role in that and I am not sure anybody else could have
done it. If you look at all of the other data bases that are available, they do not come close
in terms of quality to the CRSP data.
I also knew Larry as a great friend. I can not recall anybody who is a more affable
person, a person easier to get along with, a person easier to talk to. He and his wife Lois
were great friends of ours as well. We miss them since they left in the late 1970s.
E. F. Fama (&)
Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, 5807 South Woodlawn Ave.,
Chicago, IL 60637, USA
Rev Quant Finan Acc (2010) 35:125–126