I've read a half-dozen obituaries this morning on James Buchanan. But I've yet to see one that offers condolences to Betty Tillman.
This is wrong.
James Buchanan was one of the great men of the profession. Betty was his secretary since 1961, following him as he moved universities, and always seemed more a partner to him. She will be grieving terribly. And her assistance to James over the last fifty years should not pass without note. Buchanan called her "my long time girl Friday". Here they are at the Nobel award ceremony.
Betty is to James's left; his wife, Ann, is to his right.
Here's the GMU note about Betty from 2005. Here is a post on Betty's 80th birthday party and retirement.
I hope lots of folks on that side of the world are giving her hugs.
I also hope that, someday, there will be a movie of the life of James Buchanan, and that Betty's role will feature prominently.
New York Times
Cato - David Boaz
Independent Institute - Randy Holcombe
Think Markets - Mario Rizzo
PERC - Randy Simmons
The newspaper obituaries should end: "Professor Buchanan is survived by his "Girl Friday" of half a century, Betty Tillman."