- Austrian school economist Ludwig von Mises, who provided much of the intellectual foundation of today’s free market economic thought, left us in 1973 at age 93.
- Prominent anti-communist Whittaker Chambers, who fled the Communist Party, went on to articulate fundamental truths about communism and ultimately outed State Department employee Alger Hiss as a Soviet agent, died in 1961 at age 60.
- Author and intellectual Russell Kirk, who helped define many of the enduring principles of conservatism, died in 1994 at age 75.
- Ayn Rand, whose individualist fictional writings have proven hugely inspirational to our national Tea Party movement, died in 1992 at age 77.
- William F. Buckley, Jr., who inspired many of today’s most prominent conservative intellectuals and writers, died in 2008 at age 82 (read my 2008 tribute to him here).
- And of course (most prominent of all), our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, who proved that conservatism can win and succeed as a governing political force, died in 2004 at age 93.
Antonin Scalia, we must remember, was one of them.