This archived content originally appeared at, the predecessor site to, and does not carry the sponsorship of the Cato Institute.

Leonard Liggio, R.I.P.

Leonard Liggio died earlier today in Washington, D.C. He was 81 years old. His kidneys had failed recently, which I infer put a strain on his body more generally.

I wrote a short appreciation of Leonard just after his 80th birthday. For an obituary from the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, where he worked for many years, see this.

When Leonard became interested in classical liberalism, there were so few other people interested in it in that he got to know them all. His far-flung web of friendships, boundless memory, and wide reading, especially in history and political philosophy, made him a key figure in establishing a community of like-minded thinkers that is now many thousands strong and spans the world. It has today no Mises, Hayek, Friedman, Rothbard, Rand, or Nozick. To some it will seem as though we have passed from an age of giants to an age of pygmies. My view is different. As a current of thought become broader, it is harder for any single thinker to have the influence that was possible when it was smaller. The work becomes more specialized. (This blog is an example.) For the current to remain a unified current, though, it needs people who can make connections from one part to another, and Leonard was supremely talented at doing so.