Walter Grinder has passed away, RIP
Meeting Walter at age 13 was a formative moment in my life, as he hooked me on the world of ideas. Fortunately, Walter lived in Bogota, New Jersey at the time, and I was not so far away. He was the first person to show me it was possible to have a life devoted to intellectual inquiry. I looked forward to each meeting with Walter more than anything else, and I would never stop peppering him with questions about which books to read and which NYC bookstores to visit. It also seemed impossibly cool to me that he had hung out with Camus and in addition visited Yugoslavia. I saw him and thought, ‘I want to be some version of this.’
I remember Walter giving me an autographed copy of his edition of Albert Jay Nock. Walter being purged by the Rothbardians. Walter going off to study with David O’Mahoney at the University of Cork and complaining about the telephone service. Walter being president of Institute for Humane Studies. And Walter moving back to Menlo Park. Walter also had a great family.
Not everything in Walter’s career went the way he wanted it to. Still, Walter had a huge impact on many people, many of them successful and influential themselves. We are a kind of secret club, we know who each other are, and this is a day we are all mourning.