Remembering Dr. Walter E. Williams

All of us at Free To Choose Network are saddened to learn of the passing of our friend, Dr. Walter E. Williams.

Walter once told me he tried to avoid using anything written within the last 40 years in his economics class. He wanted students to know that Coase, Hayek, and Friedman were right then, and they’re still right today.

Walter’s straight-faced irreverence masked his genuine compassion for the human condition; he’d often break the ice at our regular dinners in Wayne, PA by asking, “How many times have you been arrested?” to our stunned table guests, then proceed to tell stories that seemed nearly as tall as the man himself (about 6 feet, 6 inches), but were absolutely true.

We make our living taking concepts of personal, political, and economic freedom and turning those theories into stories that anyone might relate. Walter could spin a tale as well as anyone and be both prolific and persuasive.

Later in life, he reveled in a new form of storytelling. The thing that gave Walter the greatest pleasure was reading stories to his grandchild. To honor him, take time to share a story with a child. Then, pour a glass of your finest red and maybe read one of Walter’s old columns or watch an old video where Walter makes a case for free markets and a free society. You’ll likely find he was right then, and he is still right today.

We’ve compiled a tribute to Walter and and his work. We hope you enjoy.

Robert Chatfield

President and CEO