Phil Fixler died early in February, after a nine-month battle with cancer. He had recently turned 44. Though not part of REASON magazine, Phil was long one of the mainstays of its parent organization, the Reason Foundation.
Phil joined the Foundation in 1984, after 10 years with the City of Los Angeles. As a dedicated libertarian (Ph.D. in political science from the University of Southern California), he had always been somewhat frustrated working for a municipal bureaucracy. When we advertised for someone to head the Foundation's new Local Government Center—to research and write about privatization of government services—Phil jumped at the chance.
In his new position, Phil quickly became an expert on the growing movement toward contracting city, county, and state functions to private firms. He wrote and spoke widely on the subject, and greatly expanded our files and research library. It was an ideal way to combine his background in city government, his knowledge of politics, and his free-market principles.
Phil helped to build the Reason Foundation into one of the world's leading centers of expertise on privatization. Requests now come in from across the country and around the world on a daily basis. Over the years, Phil's reputation as a privatization expert brought him speaking invitations—to Paris, London, Honolulu, and even Fiji. He headed applied-research projects that took him to Florida, North Carolina, Sacramento, and Saskatchewan. Besides the glory, there were long and grueling hours of detail work. For many years, Phil was one of our Saturday-morning regulars here at the Reason Foundation.
Phil has bequeathed his extensive library to the Reason Foundation, where it will bear his name and help to keep alive his memory. His family has asked that any memorial gifts be given to either the Reason Foundation or the American Cancer Society.