Kenneth Gregg, RIP


I'm sorry to report that the libertarian historian Kenneth Gregg died Friday of congestive heart failure. Gregg was especially interested in recovering the precursors to modern libertarianism, and he found antistatist currents in places ranging from the cooperative movement to the Georgists; he also explored topics ranging from radical puppetry to the life of the early civil rights activist Timothy Thomas Fortune.

Gregg faced some personal tragedies late in his life—two of his children were killed by separate reckless drivers—and his health suffered. I never met Gregg, but we corresponded from time to time, and his emails were always as interesting as his more formal writings; he seemed a decent and intelligent man. Rest in peace.

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  1. He will be missed. It is a sad day.

  2. I second Jesse’s impression. I never met him in person, but every dealing I ever had with him reinforced my belief that he was a thoroughly decent fellow.

    And his scholarship contributed a great deal to my own work. He was responsible for the only online version of part two of Andrews’ *Science of Society*, which is serialized at his blog CLASSical Liberalism. He also first drew my attention to the importance of Thomas Hodgskin’s radical version of classical liberalism, and his contribution to the early socialist movement.

  3. Many, many years ago, Ken and I were a couple for three years. Although I ended the relationship, I always considered him a good, decent man and wished him well. I can’t begin to express how sorry I am for his tragedies and his untimely passing.

  4. I knew Ken only slightly, but for many years. I first met him back in the early ’80s, when the Libertarian Party of California put him in charge of a series of talks at its state convention on the history of libertarian ideas. There were various speakers (I spoke on “Libertarian Critics of the New Deal: H.L. Mencken, Albert Jay Nock, and Rose Wilder Lane”), and Ken presided and offered comments of his own.

    We ran into each other from time to time at other libertarian functions over the years, and, once the personal computer era dawned, corresponded occasionally via e-mail. I last saw him in person a few years ago in Las Vegas, where we both attended a large conference sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education (it was the first of the “Freedom Fests” organized by Mark Skousen).

    It is sad that he is no longer with us. He was truly a gentleman and a scholar.


  5. This is sad! Ken was a true researcher and writer, interested in whatever direction the truth took him. I got acquainted with him in the living room of George H. Smith on Sunday afternoons when we would submit papers to each other and do critical readings. He was cheerful, enthusiastic about life and love, an in-depth thinker and true lover of liberty.
    It is my hope that someone survives him, related to him. I owed him a debt and now do not know to whom I should repay it. If you are out there, please contact me at

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