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."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.