Former Fed Official Preston Martin Dies at 83

Former Federal Reserve Board vice chairman Preston Martin died Wednesday at his home in San Francisco after a brief illness, his family said in a statement. He was 83.

Martin was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board by President Reagan in 1982 and served until 1986.

Martin previously served as chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, where he engineered legislation that created the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Freddie Mac .

He also served as then-Gov. Reagan's first savings and loan commissioner for California and was credited with being one of the principal architects of the adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).

Most recently, Martin was chairman of Martin Associates, a San Francisco-based financial services firm.

A frequent television and radio commentator on economic policies and business trends, Martin was known for his ability to make complex financial issues understandable for lay audiences.

His latest book was "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Federal Reserve," a plain-English guide to understanding the U.S. central bank.

A California native, Martin was a tenured professor of finance and director of executive programs at the University of Southern California. He also founded graduate business schools in Italy and Pakistan.

Martin received his bachelor's degree and an MBA from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in monetary economics from Indiana University.

He is survived by his wife, Genevieve DeVere Martin.