Obituaries

Burt Blumert, R.I.P.

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Burt Blumert, a coin dealer and longtime supporter of libertarian intellectual causes, particularly those associated with Murray Rothbard (Blumert served at various times as president of both the Center for Libertarian Studies and chairman of the Mises Institute and was a longtime Ron Paul booster), died today of cancer at age 80.

I interviewed Blumert at the Burlingame office of his coin business for my book on the history of the libertarian movement, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, and found him a charming, joshing, and self-effacing man with a good memory for the amusing detail, and a view on life and government that managed the difficult task of being both clear-headed yet not depressingly pessimistic.

Like many involved in the movement who were more backers than active contributors to writing and activism, he downplayed his own accomplishments and importance. But such sponsorship and patronage of intellectual movements are of course vital to the survival and spread of ideas.

Two of his friends, and longtime recipients of his support, Lew Rockwell of the Mises Institute and Eric Garris of Antiwar.com, eulogized him today.