Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker has passed away. My dissertation drew heavily from his work on the economics of marriage and on Larry Iannaccone's work on economics of religion. Iannacone was a student of Becker's and I was a student of Iannaccone's. Although I never had the chance to meet him, I have always felt like Becker was like an intellectual grandfather to me.
Becker was a great pioneer for pushing the boundaries of topics studied using economics. His book, The Economics of Life, was one of the first economics books I ever read and helped get me hooked by demonstrating the breadth of issues economics gave insight into.
He will be missed.