Leonard Paul Liggio (1933-2014)

My tribute in Forbes.com "Describing Liggio’s affiliations and saying a few words about their relevance would fill an academic paper. Think tanks and academic societies in Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, France, Portugal, Turkey and the United Kingdom benefited from his advice and knowledge. He had a stellar career in the United States. In addition to I.H.S., he was president of the MPS, the Philadelphia Society, vice president of the Cato Institute and the Atlas Network, and a trustee of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Also, Leonard and I were involved in the early discussions of the Christian, conservative think tank at Grove City College: The Center for Vision & Values." . . .for more check my Forbes piece

Alberto Mingardi:

"Intellectuals are very often, and almost by definition, "me!me!me!" persons. Leonard wasn't. He put the values he believed in and cherished--the ideas of liberty--above any stupid ego play. But, furthermore, he also really cared about other people. He didn't dream of having disciples, he didn't want to make converts, he was a truly radical libertarian that never rejoiced in sectarianism. He did care to help youngsters to grow their own way, by pursuing those very ideas he held dear. This is the reason why he is and will be so sorely missed by all those had the privilege of crossing his path." Click for More

From Michael E. Novak:

"I rejoice in his life. I am grateful for the enormous help he gave me at crucial points. I count on his assistance now in the Presence of the God of liberty, to all who want to be free in all places around the world. May Leonard's joyous smiling presence light up all heaven."

By Ralph Raico:

"He was my friend for close to sixty years, and I came to know him well. Today my mind is filled with thoughts and memories of him. Leonard was a Catholic, a scholar, and a libertarian. His Catholic faith was his lodestar. Leonard was a “birthright Catholic,” and from his childhood through to university and graduate work at Georgetown and Fordham and for the rest of his life, Leonard enriched his understanding of his religion and participated in the sacraments of his Church. Ultimately, he was admitted into the Order of the Knights of Malta.

But he was also a Christian in another sense as well. . ." For More

From Lawson Bader on Human Events: "Today’s libertarians are often typecast as a cantankerous lot. Leonard was certainly not. He was friends with all. Such is the power of legacy as generations move on." For More . . .

Jacques Garello (email to Jerry O'Driscoll):

"Today at noon we had a mass at St Jean de Malte, dedicated to the Leonard’s memory. Among the audience we were twelve 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 ?[sic] that it was in the Leonard Liggio’s memory, and he gave a long speech 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 homily, 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 totalitarianism. He concluded very brightly by making the comparison between the Jericho wall and the Berlin Wall. Everybody 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


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From Jane S. Shaw:

"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.

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From Bekir Berat Özipek: (Turkey)

"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."

From Thomson Ayodele (Nigeria):

"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!"

From: Franklin Cudjoe (Ghana):

"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"