Philosopher, humanist and defender of reason, Paul Kurtz died last Saturday in Amherst, NY. Kurtz wrote over 40 books, hundreds of articles, and helped found publications like ‘The Humanist’ and ‘The Skeptical Inquirer’. About 30 years ago, when the latter magazine was in its infancy, Kurtz was in Toronto (where I live) for a speaking engagement, and I managed to have dinner with him, along with a friend of mine, local magician Henry Gordon. Henry headed up the Ontario Skeptics, and Kurtz was in Toronto to help Henry’s new venture get off the ground.
Kurtz was a very nice man. Low key, but resolute in his determination to promote reason over bullshit, and advance the humanist cause at every opportunity. And what a life this guy had lead…he fought in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII, and entered Buchenwald and Dachau after their liberation, to help care for survivors.