by Dr. Roy Cordato
Senior Economist, Emeritas
The libertarian movement lost one of it’s greatest and most influential leaders yesterday, Mr. John Blundell. It is no exageration to say that the freedom movement–conservative, libertarian and classical liberal–would no be as advanced as it is today without his guidance. His main role has been in brining talent and resources together in making sure that they were effectively used for the advancement of liberty. The announcement of his death on the web site of the Atlas Network outlines his major accomplishments as a leader.
John Blundell spent two decades as the General Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, the “grand-daddy” think tank to the Atlas Network and (in the estimation of Andrew Marr of the BBC) “undoubtedly the most influential think tank in modern British history.”
Prior to his service at the IEA, Blundell was President of the Charles G. Koch and Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundations, aiding in their evolution into some of the most active philanthropies for the advancement of libertarian ideas.
Earlier, Blundell led (simultaneously) the Institute for Humane Studies and the Atlas Network (then, Atlas Economic Research Foundation), organizations that served as catalysts to the creation of new generations of classical liberal academics and think tank entrepreneurs, respectively.
Followers of the John Locke Foundation might remember that John was also a historian and biographer of Margaret Thatcher. In May 2013 he gave a talk to the Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society on Thatcher’s life and his personal relationship with her. Below is a clip from that talk.