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Remembering Larry Ribstein

keith sharfman —  25 December 2011


Like everyone else, I am shaken by Larry’s untimely passing. He was a fine scholar and a truly nice person. His *generosity* is what I remember most about him, especially as relates to younger scholars.

As Geoff has mentioned, an obvious example of Larry’s generosity to the young was his willingness to put his own reputation on the line by giving those of us who started Truth on the Market — a few unproven, blogger wannabes — the chance to get started with appearances on Ideoblog, his own, more established cyber-soapbox.

Another example that I will never forget is the time when Larry was writing an article touching upon some earlier research of my own. Wanting to do the topic justice, Larry generously invited me to offer my views on what he was writing, which of course I was delighted to provide. He then followed up by sharing both early and later drafts of his paper, which respectfully cited my work and skillfully made use of some of the ideas that I had shared with him.

It was clear to me then and even clearer now that Larry actually had little need for my input. He was quite capable of producing great scholarship without getting any ideas or insights from me. But this was his way of connecting with, mentoring, teaching, and developing younger scholars in whose careers he had an interest and whom he wanted to see succeed.

Those of us who today are in a position to help younger scholars can learn valuable lessons from Larry’s generosity. May he rest in peace and continue to be an inspiration and example to us all.