Tributes & Obituaries

Leonard Liggio passed away on Tuesday, October 14, 2014.


Atlas Network

Alex Chafuen writing in Forbes

Tom Palmer in a Cato Video

Alberto Mingardi for the Library of Economics and Liberty

Alexander McCobin for Students for Liberty

Austrian Center for Economics

Bradley Birzer for Colorado Arts and Sciences

Brian Doherty for Reason

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Ingrid Gregg at Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner 2014

The Institute for Humane Studies

Istituto Bruno Leoni

John Couretas for the Acton Institute

The John Templeton Foundation

Kris Mauren for the Acton Institute

Lawrence Read for the Foundation for Economic Education

Lawson Bader for Competitive Enterprise Institute

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. for

Mary Riner and John Barry for America’s Future Foundation

Nonoy Oplas for Government and Taxes

Parth Shaw for Centre for Civil Society (India)

Ralph Raico for the Ludwig Von Mises Institute

Ron Paul in Voices of Liberty

Steve Davies for the Institute of Economic Affairs

The Fund for American Studies

Lenore Ealy for The Philadelphia Society Philadelphia Society


Have been thinking of you and Leonard all day. What a wonderful friendship you’ve had over the years. He was beloved to hundreds and almost certainly thousands and deservedly so. And as best I can tell, a life well lived for over 80 years. It was an honor to have known him. While I’ve been acquainted, in a most friendly way, for some forty years, my greatest contact has been, most oddly, through email in the last few years. And most were so interesting that I’ve kept them in a special “Liggio” folder. Expect that will be of some consolation and, for certain, an aid in remembering him. And that Peter was among the scores that he befriended and assisted. He’s spread hope and good cheer around the world like Johnny Appleseed planted trees in the Northwest Territory.
-Robert Schadler (expressed to, and then shared by, Leonard’s friend Grace Goodell)

Leonard Liggio was a quiet and humble giant of a mind among those who toil so that others may be free. May he rest in peace.
-Deroy Murdock

I feel very lucky to have visited Leonard a few hours before he died. As his good friends, you may appreciate this quintessential Leonard story. I knew he was hearing all kinds of free market news, so I also shared my family news. He was unable to talk, but he communicated nonetheless. When I told him one my daughters is engaged, his face became very expressive as he raised his eyebrows big time. But here’s the Leonardness part. His brother Paul, who I barely know, was sitting there and asked, “Was it Jessie or Asia? I know your girls – Leonard shares your Christmas letter every year. Please keep sending them to me!”
You may remember that Leonard used to send his mother all the kid photos he received at Christmas. Apparently, he also did this with his brother. He shared with everyone, on whatever terms he thought they would enjoy. It’s such a blessed memory of him – those raised eyebrows at the wedding news. An outsider might think this would be of little interest to a lifelong bachelor, but we all know how Leonard appreciated everyone, and how he built relationships with all.
-Jo Kwong

Today at noon we had a mass at St jean de Malte, dedicated to the Leonard’s memory. Among the audience we were rwelve professors and scholars, who have prayed for our friend. Four of them were MPS member : Jean Pierre Centi, Emmanuel Martin, Jacques et Pierre Garello. Father Daniel Bourgeois, head of the Saint Jean de Malte Community and priest of the parish, has chaired the ceremony. He remembers well J.Sadowski, who came very often to celebrate the mass at St Jean. He introduced the office giving the prevcsion that it was in the Leonard Liggio’s memory, and he gave a long speach about Leonard, “a missionary of liberty”, an economist who had “greater interest in the human being than in the figures and curves”and “intellectual very close of St Jean Paul II”. Again in his homelia, he came back to the liberty,”not an aim, but a way” The way is through the Christ. He criticized the concept of “collective liberty” driving to totalitarism. He concluded very brightly by making the comparison between the Jericho wall and the Berlin Wall. Everyboday has been very impressed by the message, a mix of Austrian economics and Centesimus Annus.
So we all were at your side. God will certainly welcome our dear Leonard. “He was a saint” said Henry Manne ! Yes, he was.
All the best.
-Jacques Garello (France)

I met Leonard Liggio for the first time at the Hong Kong MPS meeting in 1978 and it was clear to me from the outset that I was in the presence of a great intellect. I was particularly fascinated by the way he wove history into his explanations of economic phenomena. His was a gentle and tolerant approach to the rest of the human race. An example to all, the world has lost a teacher who through his writings, teachings and demeanour demonstrated what it meant to be truly human.
My commiserations to all who will no longer have the privilege of spending time with him.
-Eustace Davie

Please accept our most sincere condolences on Mr. Liggio’s passing-away. He wrote an excellent introduction for the Chinese version of Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty (1999, Chinese Social Sciences Press). Now so many Chinese benefit from his insights into Hayek’s thought and his own ideas on developing a liberal world. The Chinese people will remember him forever for his contributions.
-Michael Feng

Dear Mr.Brad Lips, very sad news indeed to learn about my friend Leonard. His teachings and writings will always be an extraordinary example to be followed by those of us who advocate an Open Society (to use Popper’s terminology). I met him for the first time at Murray Rothbard´s apartment in 1968 when I was working in my doctoral dissertation at FEE, thanks to a scholarship granted by Leonard Read and since then we had very interesting and long conversations at different occasions.
-Dr. Alberto Benegas-Lynch, Jr., President, Economic Science Section, National Academy of Science, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bob Lawson gave a fine talk at Towson yesterday evening; we went to dinner afterwards with five of Towson’s promising, freedom-oriented undergraduates. Bob raised his teacup to toward me in invitation and said, “To Leonard Liggio.” We toasted Leonard’s memory in Chinese tea, and told the students about him as well as we could.
-Howard Baetjer Jr., Lecturer, Department of Economics, Towson University

It is truly sad to lose Leonard with my wish that I could have seen him one last time to thank him in person. Fortunately, I was able to extend my appreciation at the Philadelphia Society meeting in April 2013. His passing reminds me that ideas do not survive on their own, and that there was no more valiant and dedicated cultivator, carrier and transmitter of the ideas of liberty than Leonard. As a recipient of his encouragement and support as I took up the torch of liberty from his generation, I wish I could have done more to contribute to the life of the meaning and message of individual liberty. I wish I could point to an Anne Wortham and say, as Leonard could certainly claim, that but for me she might not have been intellectually sustained to stand on her own. Leonard is now at rest but leaves a legacy suffused with love and gratitude. That is how I feel — sad, but deeply grateful that my path met that of Leonard’s. He was liberty’s blessing.
-Anne Wortham

We, the CEI Board of Directors, express our appreciation and gratitude for Leonard Liggio, whose life of commitment to the principles and ideas of liberty inspired many of us who are here today. He was a valued friend, colleague, and intellectual leader. We will miss his gentle spirit, and we are grateful for his role in shepherding CEI throughout these past decades of tremendous growth.
-CEI Board of Directors

Hail to Leonard, Liberty’s Ambassador at Large!
-Kenneth Templeton

Many on this list will remember that before we got Liggio-grams via email (close to 100 saved in my Liggio folder from 2013&2014 – book reviews, event notices, news of moves by various academics, historical notes, etc), he used the U.S. mail system. I (and I’m sure many of you) regularly received envelopes with a clipping or academic paper or copy of a program from some event. One day in 1989 an envelope arrived from Leonard with a program from an ordination ceremony for Catholic priests. There was no note and no explanation included. I called him up to ask if maybe he had intended this particular mailing for someone else. He told me that one of the priests ordained was someone we should get to know – Fr. Robert Sirico. The next year Fr. Sirico was invited to speak at the MPS Regional Meeting in Guatemala and, as you can imagine, impressed everyone with his remarks on religion and liberty.
There are many people I now know – through their writings or a direct introduction – thanks to Leonard. He seemed to take such delight in the news of appointments and publications and births and engagements of his many friends, which is why, I think we enjoyed sharing news with him.
-Bridgett Wagner

Atlas, institutionally, was my first introduction to libertarianism, Austrian economics, and public choice economics. But Leonard, specifically, was my first mentor, generously sharing many articles every week, counseling me on graduate work, securing an Earhart doctoral grant for me, and generally cultivating me and encouraging me to cultivate myself.
While I can’t pay my respects in person, I will do so by attempting to live Leonard’s legacy of scholarship, teaching and selfless advancement of liberty. It’s a tall order, I know.
-Nikolai Wenzel

Some memories of the late Leonard Liggio:
My acquaintance with Leonard Leggio goes back to the 1980s. Richard Stroup and I (having been recently married) attended a Mont Pelerin Society meeting in southern France. Leonard was the group’s informal but highly informative guide as we toured the aqueduct at Nimes. On that tour, we got an inkling of how much he knew about history.
Around that time, Leonard arranged for Rick to speak before a group in Sweden, for the cost of our inside-Europe airfare. When after some months the group failed to pay the promised expenses, Leonard took it on himself to insist that we be paid—or else he would not attend their next meeting. That did it! The check arrived quickly.
As a writer for Liberty Magazine I once wrote a book review that repeated Thomas Sowell’s positive assessment of the impact of the Roman conquest on Great Britain (summarized in Churchill’s phrase, “We owe London to Rome”). Leonard called me up (I was in Montana) to tell me that I had it wrong—and that Sowell had it wrong. The great achievements of Britain got their start through the Anglo-Saxon tribes and their traditions of political freedom.
Freedom and peace—Leonard saw those threads throughout history when few others did. (He taught Rick and me that the origin of taxes was the need to finance wars.) One of my regrets (and there are many) was that an illness at the last minute prevented Leonard from being the discussion leader for a Liberty Fund conference on the Hanseatic League. There we were at a beautiful setting in Santa Fe, with luminaries far more knowledgeable than I, having just read a lengthy selection about the Hanseatic League—but only Leonard could put it all together for us and he wasn’t there!
One person who unfailingly honored Leonard was John Blundell. He and Alex Chafuen put together the “Born on the Fifth of July” tribute for Leonard’s 65th birthday. The fact that John, too, is gone from us makes this period truly a sad one for all who love liberty.
-Jane S. Shaw

My condolences are with Leonard’s family and entire Atlas team, an organization he dedicated most part of his life to. I first met Leonard 12 years ago in Fairfax, VA, as a guest of Atlas. I remembered how he took me round to get the most valuable books that would help me get started. Leonard was a true hero and champion of liberty. He will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to principles. Adieu Leonard and rest in the bosom of the Lord!
-Thomson Ayodele (Nigeria)
There are some people in your life and you just like them. Leonard Liggio was exactly one of those people. I first met him in 1997, in Fairfax, VA. In ATLAS, when everyone else left, only the light in his office would still be on. I got to know him as a person who combined profound knowledge and a sincere modesty in his personality. I will always remember him as he was sitting on his table with the smile on his face and his sympathetic demeanor that you would easily feel.
ekir Berat Özipek (Turkey)
Obituary: Celebrating a True Hero! Leonard Liggio, Executive Vice President of Academics at Atlas Network, passed away on October 14, 2014 at the age of 81. Described by the SFL as “The Original Student for Liberty”, I first met Leonard in August 2004 in Southern France, the University of Aix en-Provence in Marseilles to be precise at a seminar on classical liberal ideas. We spoke briefly about how to make the case for freedom and spread it at the same time. I took his advice. Between 2004 and 2014, I had established a think tank globally recognised as the 4th most influential in Africa and in the top 100 globally out of the US and in the top 150 globally including all US think tanks. Leonard was quite proud of IMANI when I met him occasionally in the US and in one instance at a dinner table with Atlas’ international guests in 2010, he put in a good word for people to support IMANI. Our last meeting was in 2011 when he (pictured first from right in the second photo) joined Atlas’ CEO and President to award me my MBA in Think Tank management in Virginia, USA. Atlas CEO, Brad Lips says a funeral mass for Leonard will be presided by Fr. Robert Cilinski on Monday, October 20th, beginning at 10:30 a.m., at St. Charles Borromeo (3304 Washington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201). Unfortunately I can’t be there. However, On November 13, 2014, Professor John Tomasi of Brown University will give the second lecture in the Liggio Lecture Series at Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum in New York City. I will be there to pay homage to this true champion of Liberty and give a talk on how think tanks should work with development agencies. The legendary chess champion Garry Kasparov will also be reflecting on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and thoughts on the resurgent Russian belligerence all in Memoriam of Leonard. May he rest in peace.
-Franklin Cudjoe (Ghana)

I met Leonard for the first time when we collaborated between Atlas and FNF about ten years ago in Phuket / Thailand. He came to teach some young participants and I remember his friendly style. He came across more like a storyteller than a lecturer. His incredibly humble personality combined so nicely with his way of communicating which was easy to understand even when he explained complex matters. I still remember that session so well.
Later I met him many times and always admired how he looked so bewildered and even somewhat disapproving when people put praise on him. Sometimes I felt he would rather discuss something more interesting to him, like when he sometimes turned to me with some curiosity about latest political developments in Germany.
I do believe Leonard’s knowledge and his personality made him the role model that he was for me and many others. That is exactly what the world has lost with his demise.
-Rainer Huefers

There is not much one can add to the outpouring of reverence and sadness we all experienced with news of Leonard’s death. But it did occur to me that, had he chosen a different vocation, he would probably be being considered for sainthood now.
-Henry Manne

Leonard was truly a gentle giant. I will miss his unique, soft but significant, presence.
His knowledge of social and economic history was encyclopedic. Yet his short yet extremely perceptive comments during any interaction, were like warm intellectual nudges, gently guiding the listener(s) to new information or perspective.
Personally, I am also grateful to Leonard for motivating me to explore the possibility of establishing think tanks (something I did not existed, till I was introduced to Atlas Foundation, by Julian Simon, in the late 1980s).
Leonard also encouraged us at Liberty Institute and CCS to organise the first special regional meeeting of the MPS in Goa (India) in 2002. R.I.P.
-Barun Mitra

Dear Brad, I am so sorry to learn about the loss of our dear friend Leonard. He was a great man and mentor. In order to remember and continue his legacy, the Board of Directors of our Freedom Research Association has decided to name our library as “Leonard Liggio Library of Freedom.”
-Bican Sahin, Freedom Research Association (Turkey)

Another great tree has fallen in the Liberty Forest. Leonard’s infinite patience with those of us still struggling to learn was truly remarkable and I will long remember.
-Gordon Johnson

Leonard Liggio was one of my dearest friends.
We met in 1981 in Washington as Reagan appointees to the advisory committee of the US Information Agency (an independent agency at that time). Within a year, we both resigned in protest over the firing of Robert Reilly. By 1983, Leonard joined the advisory board of my Center for Free Enterprise at A&M. We met frequently in Dallas, Washington, Aix,Alpbach, Freiburg and many Liberty Fund conferences. In the late 1980s we traveled by car from Budapest to Belgrade and then on to Montenegro. The last time I talked to Leonard was about four weeks ago.
Thirty-four years of strong friendship leaves behind lots of things to remember. I would like to share with you my three favorite memories of Leonard.
In the late 1980s or early 1990s–my timing is getting rusty–I was going to Washington. Leonard called to ask me to have dinner with him. He promised a big surprise. We met at my hotel. Leonard was in his perennial brown suit and the car that might remember World War II. We drove to a restaurant somewhere in Virginia. The surprise was the name of that restaurant: the Serbian Crown. It turned out that the Serbian Crown was recently sold to a Japanese owner. No Serbian dishes were served.
In the late 1990s, Leonard came to Dallas to attend John Goodman’s event featuring Milton Friedman. By that time, it was my turn to surprise him. Since Leonard’s ancestry was–at least in part–Albanian, my surprise was to take him to the Cafe Istanbul. Leonard loved the place. While consuming one lamb dish after another and complimenting the Cafe manager for fine food, he also informed him that his ancestors were catholic Albanians who loved pork.
Leonard visited Montenegro several times. He loved the history and tradition of that country. Once John Moore and I were with him. Leonard and John gave several lectures and interviews.
Then, Veselin Vukotich took us all to the birth place of Pejovich family–a very remote village in the middle of rugged mountains. As we were driving on a bumpy road (the term road is a heroic assumption), I turned to Leonard and said: the bones of lots of your Albanian ancestors are all over this land. Leonard was quick to reply. Yes, he said, there must be lots of my ancestors buried here; after all, they owned this place for 500 years.
Leonard will live forever.
-Steve Pejovich

I will indeed remember Leonard Liggio for his enlightening ideas, but above all for his kindness and support to freedom efforts in my corner of the world (Western Balkans) in the times when we needed it the most.
I would like to express my condolences to his family and also to Atlas Foundation and Network.
-Nevenka Čučković, Ph.D, Institute for Development and International Relations (Croatia)

Sorry to learn about Leonard. We weren’t close. But around 1975, my first client, Robert Kephart, helped launch the Center for Libertarian Studies and I was hired to write the fundraising copy. I knew Leonard slightly from that project, along with Tom Palmer, Walter Block, Walter Grinder, and other scholars I’ve probably forgotten. I once attended a CLS meeting where Hayek was present! Alas, Bob too died a few years ago. I owe my career to him.
-Don Hauptman

Leonard Liggio was always there during libertarianism’s lean years, and he continued to inspire us as the movement grew. Thank you, Leonard.
-Roger & Julianne Pilon

Leonard’s influence on so many of us – for so many decades – is incredible. We all celebrate him!
-Dr. Edwin J. Feulner

Tributes for Leonard Liggio’s 65th Birthday

At an Atlas Network international workshop in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 1998, Leonard learned that part of the event’s published agenda was a sham. The evening’s lecture would be replaced by a “surprise party,” organized in honor of Leonard’s 65th birthday which had passed during the previous month. Guests had assembled from around the world to honor Leonard’s impact on their lives, and still others had penned written tributes which were compiled in a book titled, Born on the 5th of July. In that book’s Introduction, John Blundell and Alex Chafuen wrote:

Reading the letters assembled here leaves one with a deep sense of awe. How can one man be so learned and wise, so respected and so loved, but above all, so giving of himself to others?

Letter after letter tells story after story of lives changed by this man Liggio. F.A. Hayek was recently described as ‘the great architect of the revival of classical liberal ideas’. If Hayek is the great architect, then Leonard is surely the great builder, building a worldwide movement one life at a time. Or perhaps one career at a time is a more apt description of his modus operandi.

If we just had the benefit of Leonard’s scholarship then we would all be enriched — especially tour guides! And if we just had the benefit of Leonard’s strategic overview and tactical insights then we would also all be enriched. But add them together and throw in his openness, approachability and generosity and you get the powerful testaments which follow.

We’re proud to now present a downloadable PDF of the original Born on the 5th of July, which includes testimonials from Manuel Ayau, Randy Barnett, Gary Becker, Peter Boettke, Jim Buchanan, Ed Crane, Lee Edwards, Edwin Feulner, Douglas Ginsburg, Israel Kirzner, Charles Koch, Greg Lindsay, Alberto Benegas Lynch, Henry Manne, Chip Mellor, Michael Novak, Pete and Ruth Peters, Art Pope, Ralph Raico, E.G. West, Walter Williams, Marty Zupan and many others.

Additional Testimonials are now being collected and we invite you to post your own here. They will be added to this running list of tributes:

Submitted Testimonials:

  • Dear Leonard,I apologize for not getting a note to you on your 80th birthday. I have not been feeling well these past couple weeks. No excuse, just a reason. I was, though, thinking about you on the 4th and 5th of July. I think of you especially, however, on Bastille Day. I shall always remember with great joy and fondness your talk each year at the IHS annual picnic that we used to hold at Flood Park in Menlo Park, California. You always told [it was never the same] with glee the history leading up to and the events surrounding Bastille Day. Each year everyone thought they knew just what was coming, and then they found out that they didn’t–each year we always learned more and more from you about French history and its implications for world history and especially the history of liberalism, the ripples of which are still in motion.I am pleased to learn that you enjoyed a happy 80th birthday. Please let me add, though belatedly, my congratulations! I want to thank you for all the years of comradely friendship and for the years of your being both a colleague and a mentor to me. Of all the wonderful people I’ve known and worked with over the past nearly 50 years, none has meant so much to me as you and your steady friendship. I may have learned more particular pieces of knowledge and their specific contexts from a number of people; but there is no question but that it was always you who showed me and my other friends and colleagues just how all these various bits of knowledge fitted into not only the broad sweep of history, but also how our knowledge of liberalism could create the foundations of an ever greater and richer liberalism in the future span of history. It was not to be easy, but it was simple–improve one’s own knowledge and understanding of liberty and work with others who held a similar view and had a strong commitment to advancing the ideas and ideals of liberalism.You were always, in this respect, liberalism’s chief exemplar. From the day I first met you in the mid-1960s, I saw that you were, if I may use the term, the ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of liberty. You are perhaps the single most effective ambassador [both with and without portfolio] for liberty since Thomas Hollis, who as you know, spent much of his later life dispensing copies of the books in his personal ‘Real Whig’ library to the colonists during the years leading up to the outbreak of the War for Independence. It was you, through your continuing networking, who planted the seeds both of the nuts and bolts of liberal theory and history, and its institutions; but, perhaps more importantly, it was you who provided the ‘movement’ with its much needed broad vision.. A vision that began, as you showed us, long before that first Bastille Day and that continues to grow in its breadth and depth and in its internal wisdom, and in confidence even today–a confidence with which you imbued the whole global movement. Your advice and your example: never despair! Keep on working on your own piece of the whole, and keep in touch with as many of your comrades as possible. Keep on learning not only your own niche, but also how what you are doing fits with what your liberal colleagues and comrades are achieving.To my mind, when it comes to handing out kudos for laying the groundwork of this rehabilitation of a viable liberal movement, there has been no more singularly important person for this grand vision and practice than you and your tireless work on behalf of liberty and on behalf of its increasing possibilities as a genuine force in the real social and political world. People nowadays bandy about the term networking without thinking through carefully what that term really means. All they would have to do is to follow you around for a few weeks. They would quickly see not only that you are a consummate networker, but also the key person they have to thank for the reemergence of liberalism over the past fifty years. of a liberalism that is at once a viable ideology and a part of the international intellectual conversation.Yes, it goes without saying that there would have been no resurgence of liberalism without all those who struggled and who wrote and defended liberty through the ages. And, it goes without saying that there would have been no postwar resurgence of liberalism without Mises, and Hayek, and Friedman, and Leoni, and Rothbard, and without Antony Fisher and Leonard Reed and without the three prominent ladies of liberalism in the previous century–Patterson, Lane and Rand–, and so many others that I could not possibly list them all. But it is equally true that without your lifetime of effort, their ideas would never have been turned into the network of liberal institutions and the intellectual movement that we can now say has a strong chance of remaining a large part of the conversation for decades to come.On behalf of myself and all the students I’ve had the good fortune to work with over these past 45 years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am indescribably proud to call you my friend and to have worked with you not only as a colleague, but also as a comrade in the long, but happy struggle for liberty.With warmest regards,
    Walter Grinder, former Atlas trustee
  • Dear Leonard, I still remember the first time I met you at the Summer University in Aix. I was so impressed by your sharp discourse, challenging ideas and your unique friendliness. You had a huge influence on my thinking and I would most probably not be a convinced libertarian today if our roads hadn’t cross 30 years ago. Thank you for being the teacher and mentor you are to so many of us. Many more years success and liberty! Very Best Wishes for your 80th birthday…עד – Corinne Sauer, Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies
  • For over 30 years, I have not written a paper or book without getting suggestions from Leonard. He is not only a walking encyclopedia saving us a lifetime of research but a scholar whose genereosity knows no bounds. – Nicholas Capaldi
  • Leonard, I have not known you as long as many of your friends, but I am one of your admirers. I look forward to your emails with fascinating bits of history and appreciate knowing that when I have a question about our movement, an answer is never further away than a question to you. – Dan Grossman
  • I remember vividly as a young graduate student sitting at a lunch table with Leonard, Murray Rothbard and Ralph Raico in Palo Alto California. Leonard may not have been the most talkative among that group, but the deference to his knowledge by the others was evident. The impression that made has been confirmed over and over in the many years I have known Leonard. – Douglas Den Uyl, Liberty Fund
  • Dear friend, Through all the years, it has truly been a pleasure as well as an honor. As others have noted, you’re an exceptional person who has contributed so very much to the principles of liberty. I do remember all the nights in Murray Rothbard’s living room, with you and I and Joe Peden outlasting everyone else. Once Howie and I bumped into you on the street in Sweden while you were there on one of your many trips to Timbro. That was during your long IHS tenure. You’ve helped Atlas Network expand and develop through your vast knowledge and unrivaled network of colleagues. Mont Pelerin Society…Liberty Fund….Philadelphia Society…. — Leonard Liggio is a name that weaves through almost all the scholarship and classical liberty organizations that we know. You will leave a very large legacy, but don’t ‘leave it’ till you’re 120. Maybe somebody else will be ready to take over by then. Warmest regards, Andrea
  • Leonard, Thanks for all you’ve done for the Liberty movement. Your amazing knowledge of history and ability to remain of good cheer and find common ground with virtually anyone helps make the arguments for liberty seem so reasonable. Thanks. – Gary Short
  • Thank you. I have such wonderful memories of Leonard, at the Rothbard’s in NYC, at my parents’ house and all. He has always reminded me of my father, as a scholar and very kind man. – Helen Harper
  • I had the great pleasure of meeting Leonard Liggio in Hong Kong in 1978 when we were a lot younger. I salute you, Leonard, for the indelible impression your erudite exposition of history and ideas of liberty made on me and countless thousands during your remarkable career. My very best wishes on your 80th birthday. – Eustace Davie
  • Dear Leonard: No one can thank you sufficiently for your longstanding faithfulness and service to the movement for liberty. Your commitment has been unwavering, your contributions immense and your inspiration endless. I salute you, as do all of us at FEE. Sincerely, Larry Lawrence W. Reed President Foundation for Economic Education
  • Congratulations to Leonard Liggio for a lifetime a championing the causes of classical liberalism and Austrian economics. He was critically involved in the early days of the Austrian Economics Program at NYU. He made it possible for us to raise large sums of money to support the activities of the program, and provided crucial moral support for the revival of Austrian economics. But even earlier, I remember Leonard’s invaluable work during my undergraduate days at Fordham when the Austrian-liberal community was very small. He was an inspiration to me and many others. He was crucial in creating a network of Austrian and liberal scholars at a time when there were few sources of encouragement. But most of all, in all of his activities, Leonard has been a thoroughly decent and moral person, as well as a great friend. Ad multos annos. – Mario J. Rizzo
  • I’m writing a bit early to congratulate you on your 80th birthday, a real milestone. Yours has truly been a life well lived. Your scholarship, exemplified by the encyclopedic knowledge for which you are famous, is unparalleled. Your tireless efforts to keep lines of communication open through your extensive networks are of immeasurable value. Your efforts in this regard are especially important to me, a retired academic living far from the centers of academe. Your leadership through ISI, Atlas, PhillySoc, and the MPS (among those known to me) has been and is critically important. Your work has touched and influenced the lives of countless students and scholars. Above all, your devotion to the cause of liberty stands as a singular example to all. You have been a rock and an inspiration to freedom lovers throughout your life. You will receive many accolades on Friday from people around the world. Enjoy them — nobody deserves them more than you. Happy Birthday! – John Moore
  • Leonard, Thanks for all you’ve done for the Liberty movement. Your amazing knowledge of history and ability to remain of good cheer and find common ground with virtually anyone helps make the arguments for liberty seem so reasonable. Thanks – Gary Short
  • I am delighted to join the celebration of Leonard Liggio’s rich life and relentless work on behalf of human freedom. Happy 80th, Leonard, and many more! Best wishes, Deroy Murdock, New York City
  • Dear Leonard,
    It is with great pleasure that I join your friends to celebrate your 80th birthday.Your genius in organizing and mobilizing intellectual talents from around the world is now legendary. Your prolific contributions in history, political science and economics has changed the axis of the debate in different institutions across the world. I specially remember your participation in Murray Rothbard´s multivolume Conceived in Liberty and your magnificent essays on the history of Europe, your writings in Left and Right: A Journal of Liberal Thought, your papers on US foreign policy, war (“futile crusades” in your words) and public education (I would say state education since private education is also for the public).Your students at Gorge Mason University have been privileged with your teachings. I ran across some of them and their memories of your classes are remarkable because or your outstanding excellence.I am sure the torch of your example and the stimulus of your thoughts will be very profitable for next generations. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to you.I also celebrate I had a chance to serve at the Board of Directors of the Mont Pelerin Society when you were also a member of that Board.With warmest regards,
    Professor Alberto Benegas-Lynch, Jr
    President, Economic Science Section National Academy of Sciences
    Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Glorious ideas do not win automatically. Therefore, my gratitude for what you have done, and congratulations. Let us all inspire one another for doing the best, for the best, with the best. – Carl-Johan Westholm
  • Leonard Liggio is a wonderful man who has been a mentor to me for 35 years. His kindness and wisdom have been a key part of so many younger libertarians intellectual development. – Steve Mariotti
  • As I traveled the libertarian world with Bill Niskanen, Leonard was always present–whether Aix, Tokyo, or DC. Often people were standing in line to talk to him during receptions. I quickly learned that not only was he a generous donor to these organizations, but usually a founder! Here is to many more years of amazing contributions to libertarian causes. – Kathryn Washburn
  • In “Born on the Fifth of July,” I wrote that Leonard was not only a great friend of Liberty, but also a friend to all the world. And that is still true today. Since then I have been privileged to work with Leonard on a number of projects and to benefit from his wise counsel on numerous occasions. Many thanks, and again, Happy Birthday Leonard. Best. – William Dennis
  • Dear Leonard,
    First and foremost, warmest good wishes for a happy birthday! May this year bring you many blessings and continued good health. As in the past, so now, I deeply appreciate your thoughtful and learned approach to the various practical issues that beset us economically and politically. It is a joy to sit and converse with you, for you invariably point to a new perspective that had somehow escaped me or show how a pressing current event has a much more complicated history than analysts and scholars had recognized. I look forward to many more such conversations in the future, even as I cherish all that I have learned from past ones. Thanks, too, for your continued interest in the complex problems concerning our Middle Eastern and Muslim friends and colleagues. Your own deep faith seems to serve you well here and to provide you with great insight into ways that conflicts can be resolved as well, better yet, as avoided. It is a pleasure to be able to express to you in writing once again just how much your friendship means and how deeply I value it. Your quiet, deeply informed study and defense of liberty remain major hallmarks of your career, and I dearly hope you will continue along the same path in the coming years. We all profit greatly from your contributions.
    With my warmest good wishes,
    Charles E. Butterworth
  • 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. Pete offered us a nice overview of Leonard’s career then.He is a gem, a gentleman, and a giant of modern libertarianism.Happy 80th Leonard. Many, many more. – Steve Horwitz
  • I remember Leonard from my college days at Fordham. I met him through Murray Rothbard during the late 1960s. Radicalism was everywhere in the air then. We libertarians — Leonard and Murray included — were trying to figure out if we could make common cause with the so-called “New Left.” That ultimately went nowhere for what are now obvious reasons.Leonard has spent his life building liberal and Austrian movements. I have learned much from Leonard both intellectually and about dedication to a purpose. Thank God he has come our way. Ad multos annos. – Mario Rizzo
  • Leonard Liggio is a living encyclopedia dedicated to improving the human condition through liberty. – Anonymous
  • Leonard, this is a fitting way to honor and expand to others your intellectual legacy and commitment, and to express our gratefulness for your vision, integrity, friendship, and abundant generosity. – Grace Goodell
  • When future historians look back on the ‘War of Ideas’ for individual liberty, I hope it will be remembered that I was one of the many privileged to serve in the battalion lead by Leonard Liggio. – Jack Summer
  • Having known Leonard Liggio for over half a century, I can only describe him as ‘a scholar and a gentleman’—not simply a scholar, but an encyclopedic scholar; not simply a gentleman, but a superb gentleman! It is a distinct privilege to be able to participate in this tribute. – Israel M. Kirzner
  • The world is more free today because of the courage, kindness, and commitment to liberty that Leonard demonstrated every day, year in and year out. For that we are all very grateful. – Chip Mellor
  • A delightful man; thoughtful and generous with his thoughts and erudition. – Anonymous
  • Leonard’s leadership is legendary. His grasp of history, philosophy, and economic theory make him an incredible asset to all of us who believe in freedom. – Edwin Feulner
  • Leonard Liggio is a man I admire deeply and gratefully for all he has done in the cause of liberty and free markets all over the world. I came to know of him through Tom Palmer of the Cato Institute and now the Atlas Network. Happy 80th birthday, Leonard, and may you be granted many more years to labor on! – Traute Grether
  • Leonard,
    Best Wishes on your birthday.
    Thank you for your work and leadership in the struggle for liberty.
    Much yet to do. Onward.
    Grover Norquist
  • Leonard is a gentleman and a scholar, whose devotion to a free society has benefited mankind. – Jim Dorn
  • I met Leonard at the 1980 Cato Institute Summer Seminar. His impressive knowledge of free markets and our rarely acknowledged libertarian history inspired me greatly. – George Meyer
  • Leonard has made an extraordinary contribution to the cause of liberty, through his wit and mentoring numerous young people to academic posts. He has ben a close friend for over 20 years and I am delighted to support the annual lectures in his name. – Prof Deepak Lal
  • Thirty or more years ago, when I was teaching at the University, I received one of the best invitations ever. Why was it so relevant? Who dared to promote a seminar about economic freedom and liberty at the seventies when the era of socialism was at it´s climax? It was almost incredible, living in Mexico and being surrounded by socialists of all kinds: professors, friends, colleagues, and even family members preached socialism as the great solution for poverty.They were convinced that confiscating the wealth of some was going to solve the poverty of all. This never made sense to me but I didn´t know at that time how to fight their ideas. I was sad and disillusioned until one day I received a brochure from The Institute for Humane Studies about an interdisciplinary seminar for teachers on economic freedom. Of course I submitted my application right away and wrote a letter explaining why it was important for me to attend. A few days later I received a wonderful letter from Leonard Liggio advising me that I had been accepted and, that I was the recipient of one of five scholarships awarded to foreigners from around the world. I felt very honored.I started to receive books in the mail which I had to read before attending the seminar. I wondered who this Professor Liggio was? Who was organizing a seminar with such a high standards? These ideas were new to me and I had to study 12 to 14 hours daily for a month and a half in order to read books by Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Friedrick von Hayek, Leonard Reed, Milton Friedman, to mention just a few. Leonard met me at the airport and that day I met a great intellectual and someone who would become a very important person in my life. It was the beginning of my new life, although I didn´t know it at the time. The seminar was stimulating. One of my professors was Israel Kirzner.Some weeks later I attended my first meeting of the Mt. Pelerin Society at Stanford University, another unexpected event in my life. There I met Leonard again and I found out that many of the authors of the books he had sent me were alive and were his friends. Leonard planted a seed in fertile soil and years later I became a tree. In 1983 I founded the “Instituto Cultural Ludwig von Mises” in Mexico and I became a crusader for freedom.I had the chance to meet with Leonard many times during my life. Each time I had the opportunity to confirm that he was not only a great intellectual, but also a gentleman and an excellent friend. He always helped me, through Atlas Foundation, to invite bright intellectuals to Mexico whose ideas transformed the mentality of Mexicans and helped me, and many others, to build a new and prosperous Mexico.Leonard Liggio’s life shows us that every effort to understand, defend, and promote liberty is priceless. That each of us has the responsibility to preserve a natural right for ourselves and for our country. – Carolina Bolívar