Let me take a moment to wish a happy 80th birthday to one of the most important figures in the modern libertarian movement who many of you might not know: Leonard Liggio. Leonard has been around the movement since his youth, having spent time with Rand and Rothbard and being one of the earliest and most important figures in the growth of the Institute for Humane Studies. He has been with the Atlas Foundation in recent years, tirelessly traveling the world for the cause of liberty. (He was just in Portugal at the Liberty Fund I attended last weekend.)

Almost every libertarian academic or think-tanker I know has had contact with Leonard. He is the consummate networker and always shows up with something he found that he thinks you should read (he did so for at least both me and Sarah last weekend). Leonard has done so much for liberty, and much of it somewhat behind the scenes, that it’s hard to really summarize. I was very happy to have helped honor him two years ago with the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a gem, a gentleman, and a giant of modern libertarianism.

Happy 80th Leonard. Many, many more.

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  • Aeon Skoble

    Yes.

  • Sharon Presley

    I’m one of those who have had the good fortune to have known Leonard for a long time. If I remember correctly, I met him in the really old days when IHS was in Menlo Park. But I also saw him many times during the 70s in NYC. Leonard is not only a fine scholar and a truly nice person (after all, many libertarians are not nice, so this is saying something!), he is also a gentleman (in the best sense of the word) and a man of great integrity. The incident that most illustrates this is one I am not at liberty to discuss publicly but perhaps a few of you know what I am referring to. He did the right thing and I admire him greatly for doing so. As Steve indicates, he deserves much credit for what he has done, much more than he has received. I am very happy to see this tribute to Leonard (thanks, Steve!). I too wish Leonard many more years. In this day of too many grand-standing libertarians, he truly stands out as a scholar, a gentleman and a giant of the movement. Wishing you many more happy and productive years, Leonard.

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