Beth Hoffman, R.I.P.

Beth Hoffman, the managing editor of The Freeman, passed away yesterday.

She was a fine editor and a great lady.  I had the pleasure of working with her on many stories since the mid-1980s.  

Beth was one of the unsung heroes of the freedom movement.  She worked at the Foundation for Economic Education from the mid-late 1970s.   She was a rock of stability at FEE as it went through change after change over the past quarter century.   She made sure FEE events ran like clockwork, and she accomplished this with a quiet grace and suasion that made her a favorite of FEE staff, contributors to the Freeman, and others who came in contact with her at FEE.

One of my favorite memories comes from a talk FEE president Richard Ebeling invited me to give at their summer seminar in August 2003.  As I was taking the Hudson Valley line train to Irvington, the train suddenly came to a dead stop.  Power was knocked out throughout the northeast.

After exiting the train and walking down the railroad tracks for awhile, I was able to flag down a ride at some suburban train station north of Yonkers.    Beth helped assure that the speech went on, despite the total lack of power and the resulting chaos far and wide.  (The police helicopter that seemed to hover near the back yard speaking venue can’t be blamed on her).  At the same time, she made sure that the young students at FEE were kept safe and out of trouble.

On the day after the speech, the power began to return, and I had the pleasure of going out for a few beers in Irvington with Beth and Sheldon Richman, FEE’s editor-in-chief.   Her hearty sense of humor and total lack of pretension were rare virtues, especially combined with her competence and dedication.

Beth is survived by a husband and a son. My thoughts and condolences go out to them.

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