Those of us who came of age in the sixties will recall John Kenneth Galbraith and his entertaining debates with Bill Buckley every presidential election season. Galbraith, a physically imposing man at 6'8" or thereabouts, was a liberal of the Hubert Humphrey school and the hero of many Democrats during the sixties and seventies. He was perhaps the most influential economist of his era.
I remember going to hear him speak at my alma mater and sitting close to the front, just behind a couple of middle-aged women who were apparently on the faculty. When Galbraith, in his seventies at the time, strode out onto the stage, both women gasped and sighed like two thirteen year-olds favored with a smile from Mick Jagger. One of the women turned to the other in a half swoon and proceeded to make invidious physical and intellectual comparisons between the magnificent liberal demigod on the stage and the pipsqueak conservative who was currently the president of the university. They both smirked acidly at how poorly the president fared in the comparison. It was as pathetically childish as it was cruel.
Anyway, J.K. Galbraith has passed away at the age of 97.