I am an economist because of Milton Friedman. More specifically, I am a free-market economist because my first economics professor had us read Friedman's Free to Choose and Galbraith's The New Industrial State. We also watched several episodes each of Friedman's TV series of the same name, and Galbraith's The Age of Uncertainty. After experiencing the turgidity of Galbraith alongside the clarity of Friedman, there was no turning back.
Today would have been Friedman's 100th birthday. Over at Cafe Hayek they have a collection of links to articles about Friedman's legacy.