Irving Kristol Headshot (small)
AEI senior fellow Irving Kristol--godfather of the neoconservative movement and one of the towering intellectual figures of the twentieth century--died peacefully late this morning at the age of eighty-nine.
Mr. Kristol's connection to AEI began long before he arrived to become a full-time scholar at the Institute in 1988. In 1973, he gave the first of AEI's Distinguished Lectures on the Bicentennial of the United States. The lectures were delivered at historic sites around the country, and Mr. Kristol's lecture, "The American Revolution as a Successful Revolution," was given at St. John's Church in Washington, where many of the nation's presidents have worshipped. He was then the Henry R. Luce professor of urban values at New York University and coeditor of the influential The Public Interest.
He joined the Institute as an adjunct scholar in the mid-1970s and participated in many of its activities, a few of which are mentioned here. In 1976, when AEI launched the Center for the Study of Government Regulation, he chaired its advisory council. A year later, with Robert Bork, S. I. Hayakawa, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, he participated in an AEI "Forum on Professors, Politics, and Public Policy." In 1979, he joined another on the "Future of Public Policy" with Peter Berger, Michael Novak, and Paul MacAvoy. AEI reprinted a series of essays on the "Moral Basis of Democratic Capitalism," with contributions from Irving Kristol, Paul Johnson, Michael Novak, and Herb Stein in 1980. He gave several Bradley lectures, beginning with one on "Adam Smith and the Invention of Capitalism" when the series was introduced in 1989. In 1991, he received the Institute's highest award, the Francis Boyer award--his lecture, "The Capitalist Future," is posted here. The award was later renamed after Kristol himself.
In 1995, AEI organized a festschrift for Mr. Kristol on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday. The essay collection, The Neoconservative Imagination: Essays in Honor of Irving Kristol (Christopher DeMuth and William Kristol, eds.), is posted here. Remarks at the birthday dinner where the collection was presented to Mr. Kristol are posted here.
Irving was a wonderful and generous colleague, and he inspired scores of young people here. We will miss him greatly.