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Murray N. Rothbard: In Memoriam by Ron Paul


America has lost one of her greatest men, and the Freedom Movement one of its greatest heroes: Murray N. Rothbard. In his 25 books and thousands of articles—not to speak of his personal example—Murray was an inspiration. With his death, all who cherish individual rights and oppose the welfare-warfare state, are the poorer.

Murray was a world-class Austrian economist, and he influenced thousands of students. I was one of them, for he taught me about economics and liberty, and encouraged my political work against war, inflation, and big government.

Although I had read Murray for years, I didn’t meet him until 1979. I wrote him, he wrote back, and I invited him to the “belly of the beast,” the U.S. Congress. I knew he had a great mind, but instead of a pompous professor, I discovered a joyous libertarian, and one of the most fascinating human beings I’ve ever met.

I loved talking to this down-to-earth genius. And he told me he enjoyed meeting a Congressman who had not only read his books, but used them as a guide in his votes and legislation. A close and lasting friendship was the result, which wasn’t hard. Murray was the sweetest, funniest, most generous of men.

He was also a great help with the Minority Report of the U.S. Gold Commission, published as The Case for Gold. But who could be surprised? He was our greatest academic expert on the history and economics of the gold standard.

When I last talked to Murray, a few days before his untimely death, he urged me to run for office again. Recent elections or not, he said, our side needs an uncompromising anti-statist voice in Washington, D.C. The founder of modern libertarianism and an economist, historian, and political philosopher of extravagant accomplishments, Murray also loved—and was an expert in—Dixieland jazz, the religious paintings of the Renaissance, basketball, Baroque church architecture, and the nitty-gritty of politics. With tremendous zest for life and for the battle, he defended our freedom and our property, and built the ideas that are their foundation.

Although a Jew and not a man of faith, he loved Christianity— he was also an expert in theology and church history—and saw it as the source of almost everything good in Western civilization. Murray N. Rothbard is now for the ages. My heart goes out to Joey, his wife of 41 years, and to all of us. We have lost a matchless champion of freedom. But I have no concerns for Murray himself. The Lord God knows His own.

*Happy Birthday Murray!*