I am sorry to have to report that Ralph Raico has passed away. His intellectual brilliance was evident from an early age, and while still in high school, he attended Ludwig von Mises’s seminar at New York University. There he met Murray Rothbard, who became his lifelong friend. Ralph was one of the most brilliant members of Rothbard’s Circle Bastiat. He received a PhD from the University of Chicago, working under Friedrich Hayek. Ralph became the leading historian of classical liberalism and also a renowned authority on revisionist history. His books Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School and Great Wars and Great Leadersshow penetrating analytical skills, immense learning, and devotion to liberty. He lectured at the Mises University and other conferences of the Mises Institute for many years.
Ralph was one of my closest friends for over thirty-five years, and I wish I could convey to those who didn’t know him his intellectual sharpness, wit, and kindness. Here are a few samples of his comments, taken from emails to me: “Incidentally, in case you were stumped, that ‘nicht wahr?’ in my last email means ‘’not true?’ or, colloquially ‘right?’” “I spent New Year’s Eve finishing off a bottle of cheap Spanish champagne. My resolution is next year to make it a bottle of cheap French champagne. I hope that 2015 will be good to you.” He loved jokes, e.g., “What’s a sight you never see? Answer: a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.”
Ralph was a great man, and I was very fortunate to have been his friend.