Herb London Leaves Us

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Genuine scholars are hard to find in academe and even around it. It just got harder. On November 11, “Herbert Ira London, Ph.D., a legendary public intellectual, succumbed to coronary disease at age 79,” Deroy Murdock writes in National Review. “The 6’5” London excelled at basketball in high school, at Columbia University, and was drafted by the NBA’s Syracuse Nationals, but an injury foiled his hoop dreams.”

“He sang a hit rock & roll record in 1959 and became a cherished professor, conservative activist, and author of 30 books.London ran for New York mayor in 1989. As 1990’s Conservative gubernatorial nominee, he polled just 1 percent behind Republican Pierre Rinfret. The GOP picked London for state comptroller in 1994.” As New Yorkers may from time to time struggle to recall failed governors of the past, as opposed to the current failure, they would do well to contemplate the successes they didn’t vote for.

Yet and still, arguably London’s biggest imprint was on academe. “After founding and leading NYU’s Great Books–oriented Gallatin Division from 1972 to 1992, London was the Hudson Institute’s president from 1997 to 2011,” Murdock recounts. “He launched the London Center for Policy Research in 2013 and spearheaded it until his death.”