INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY
Princeton, NJ 08540-0631
SCHOOL OF NATURAL SCIENCES John N. Bahcall
13 November 2003
Professor Marshall Rosenbluth
I am writing to say now what you would not have let me say in your presence.
For me, and for so many of our friends and associates at the Institute for Advanced Study, you were a generous and inspiring academic colleague and the most level headed but funny of our personal associates. Scientifically, you set a high standard for all of us to admire and to try to emulate. You were interested in all science, but especially the important problems. And you always had time to provide suggestions of how to approach new challenges.
Although we learned such an enormous amount from you as a scientist, it is possible that we learned even more from you about how to live a life that makes a difference. You taught us by doing, by just being yourself. You never proclaimed ideals. But, you left a sensational career as a particle physicist to work on problems of national defense. And, when Stalin died, you returned to academic life to lead the world toward a practical fusion device. When you were at the Institute, we all used to line up outside your door to get help, technical help or new insights, on the different problems we were working on.
You taught us not only how to do science and how to live a worthwhile life. You taught us how to go gracefully. When Neta and I visited you just a few weeks before the end, you expressed concern for us that we had to see you in that situation. Characteristically, you asked about our work and our children and we discussed the urgent, unsolvable problems of the world. When the time came for us to leave, you drove ahead of us in your car to show us the way to the freeway.
You always were our leader.