Claude Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly. He was born in Bayonne, Aquitaine, France. When he was nine years old, he was orphaned and became a ward of his father's parents. At age seventeen he left school to become more involved with his family's business as an exporter. When he was twenty-five, his grandfather and benefactor died, leaving the young man the family estate and providing him with the means to further his own theoretical inquiries. His areas of intellectual interest were diverse, including "philosophy, history, politics, religion, travel, poetry, political economy, and biography". His public career as an economist began only in 1844, and was cut short by his untimely death in 1850. He was the author of many works on economics and political economy, generally characterized by their clear organization, forceful argumentation, and acerbic wit. Among his better known works is Economic Sophisms.