William McChesney Martin, who guided the economy as Federal Reserve Board chairman from 1951 to 1970, died Monday from respiratory failure. He was 91.

"He set a masterful example of leadership during his tenure, playing a key role in fostering an extraordinary period of growth and prosperity," Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said Tuesday. "Crucially, Chairman Martin moved the Federal Reserve from being an adjunct of the Treasury Department to the independent status we know today."

Kenneth A. Guenther, executive vice president of the Independent Bankers Association of America and the Fed's former congressional liaison, said Mr. Martin "was very highly regarded and very highly respected. The Federal Reserve Board family is in mourning."

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