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I just found out that we lost a monumental voice for freedom in America. Walter Williams is dead at age 84. From someone who knew him very well:

I was deeply saddened and depressed to learn that my old friend Professor Walter E. Williams passed away yesterday morning at the age of 84. For the past forty years Walter was the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University; one of the greatest libertarian columnists in the world; a fabulously inspiring teacher; one of the best public speakers you would ever encounter on the subjects of economics and libertarianism; and the most popular guest host of the Rush Limbaugh radio show.

Walter was already at George Mason University when I arrived there as a young assistant professor of economics in 1981, preceding me by a year. He and I were the two faculty members who taught the large 300+ student sections of principles of economics. I quickly realized that it would be many years before I could approach Walter’s masterful classroom performances. (And you do need to be a bit of a performer before such a large audience that can easily be bored to death with such a large crowd and so many distractions).

I will forever miss his relentless reporting on education, and I will, to the best of my ability, try to keep that tradition going. Rest in peace, professor.