Bill Kristol remembers his late father as a man of a "deep modesty" who "loved intellectual pursuits but always shunned intellectual pretension." Irving Kristol, who died earlier this month at age 89, is generally regarded as the architect of neoconservatism, but the honors he accrued never gave him an inflated sense of "self-importance," his son writes in the Weekly Standard. "I've had such a goddam lucky life," he said a few years back before lung surgery.
Lucky or not, he profoundly influenced legions. "How did he do it? I do think that in my father was found an unusual combination of traits—confidence without arrogance; worldly wisdom along with intellectual curiosity; a wry wit and a kindly disposition; and a clear-eyed realism about the world along with a great generosity of spirit."