Leonard Liggio will be honored this coming Sunday by the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics (SDAE). Leonard Liggio in his various roles at the Volker Fund, Institute for Humane Studies, Cato Institute, Liberty Fund and Atlas has been throughout his career a champion for Austrian economics and classical liberal political economy. In the world of scholarship, we often forget the people who work behind the scene to encourage and support research and educational efforts. The leading thinkers naturally draw our attention --- they developed the great ideas and write the books and articles that change minds. But they actually could not do what they do without the spiritual, material, and institutional support of several often unnamed and unheralded individuals.
Leonard was there at the nadir of the Austrian school in America, he was there as classical liberalism rebounded and the resurgence of the Austrian school began, he was there as the modern libertarian movement became institutionalized in think tanks and academic research centers, and he is still there encouraging young and old world wide who are struggling to advance the ideas of liberty. As a scholar/teacher in his own right, Leonard stressed historical scholarship, intellectual history, and bold analysis of the market, politics, law, and culture.
In a relatively recent interview, Leonard is referred to as "the original student for liberty", and you can also glimpse Leonard's omnipresent influence in works such as It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand and Radicals for Capitalism, though even there for those of us who benefited so much from Leonard's support and encouragement he is not given strong enough praise for what he did. Leonard deserves our praise because he is a praise worthy man. He is a kind, gentle, and wonderful human being. He has been for decades classical liberalisms greatest international intellectual ambassador, and he has done so with humility and charm.
Thank you Leonard for everything you have done for our intellectual movement and also for the numerous generous acts of kindness and encouragement you have provided to me.