Robert D. Auerbach began his career as a cab driver. A chance ride with Abram Lincoln Harris, a leading professor in the economics department at the University of Chicago — and its only African-American member — catapulted him into graduate school. (When he went in to register, he still had his changer on his belt.) There he became a student of Milton Friedman, completing a dissertation in 1969. Then it was on to the staff of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank – the beginning of a lifelong no-love-lost affair with the central bank.