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Leonard Liggio, R.I.P.

Lawrence W. Reed

“A teacher,” wrote journalist and educator Henry Brooks Adams, “affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

With Leonard P. Liggio, who seemed to many of us to have been around forever, influence began decades ago and runs so deep that he easily meets Adams’s description. It is among the highest honors to be thought a “teacher,” and especially if what you taught was as right, true, and noble as it always was with Leonard.

So it is with sadness that we at FEE note Leonard’s passing yesterday at the age of 81. He was a giant in the liberty movement. His associations — as staff member or executive — included a vast array of important institutions: the Institute for Humane Studies, the Mont Pelerin Society, the Atlas Network, Universidad Francisco Marroquin, George Mason University, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, William Volker Fund, Liberty Fund, and our own organization, the Foundation for Economic Education. In 2006, he wrote this essay explaining the history of FEE’s journal, The Freeman, with which he was intimately familiar.

Leonard’s scholarly passion for the ideas of liberty spanned many disciplines and touched untold numbers of people all over the world. He was as steadfast as it gets in sticking to the principles he knew could save the world from the blight of tyranny. When he found a student who seemed intrigued by those principles — and he found them by the thousands — he inspired, educated, and connected them to others who could deepen their understanding. I encourage readers to visit the In Memoriam page of the Atlas Network, where more of Leonard’s remarkable life is recounted.

Thank you, Leonard Liggio, for the indelible mark you left on the lives of so many. When the roll call for liberty is sounded, your name will resonate near the top. Well done, great teacher.

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