DAVID EASLEY: I'm David Easley, chair of the Cornell economics department, and I'd like to welcome all of you here to this memorial service for Fred Kahn. This event was organized jointly by the economics department at Cornell and by the Kahn family, and in particular by Dan Fogel, who you will hear from later on this afternoon. We're here today to celebrate Fred's life and to remember his many contributions to individuals, to the Cornell economics departments, to Cornell University and the Ithaca community, and to the nation. At a university like Cornell, there are many individuals who are outstanding scholars, but there are very few people who are outstanding scholars, teachers, mentors, and who make significant contributions in government. Fred Kahn was one of those very few.
Fred was a leader in the academic field of regulation. He was a New York state regulator. He was head of the CAB and led the move to deregulate the airline industry. And as I'm sure you know, he was President Jimmy Carter's inflation czar.
During his years at Cornell, Fred was also chair of the economics department, a member of the Board of Trustees, and Dean of the arts college. All of that would seem to be enough to keep anyone busy, but it wasn't enough to keep Fred busy. He was, in addition, a very active member of the Ithaca Performing Arts Community, and in particular, an active participant in the Cornell Savoyards.
Fred had a positive impact on many individuals, from the undergraduates who took his classes, to the PhD students who followed him into academia or government service, to his colleagues and friends in the university, and broader. And he was universally admired, I think by everyone who knew him, for his generous spirit. Today, you're going to hear from members of his family, his friends and colleagues from Cornell, former students and colleagues from the economics profession, colleagues from his days as regulator, and you're also going to hear several musical performances and a slideshow. So this is really a mixed media presentation today.
The little personal note here is that Fred actually retired from Cornell not long after I arrived, and when I arrived, he had recently returned to Cornell from his days in government service. But of course, he was a former dean of the college and I was a new assistant professor, so I did have the opportunity to meet Fred and interact with him. In fact, he was always generous with his time. He was happy to talk and to listen and to share humor, but we unfortunately, didn't get to spend a lot of time together.
The one aspect of Fred's personality, though, that I really remember, and that was always a parent, was his positive and generous spirit. He was always happy to share a laugh. I'm going to turn things over now to Fred's daughter, Hannah Kahn, who will be the next speaker.
HANNAH KAHN: Good afternoon. First, I'd like to welcome you all and thank you for coming. I particularly want to thank Cornell and the economics department for organizing and hosting this event, and I, too, want to thank Dan-- Danny Kahn-Fogel for doing all the communicating and pulling everything together. Our family's very grateful.
And I want to thank all of you for being here to help celebrate Fred's magnificent life. We have been so touched by the outpourings of love and all the condolences. And I know that I speak for Mary as well, who if it weren't for the ravages of her Alzheimer's disease, would have been so moved to see you all here.
We welcome people from near and far, those from Fred's vast professional life and from both sides of our far-flung family and our cherished Ithaca friends. I want to convey a special welcome to our dear Aunt Hanny, wife of Fred's beloved big brother, Sid. Thank you for coming, Hanny.
Because he had such a big heart, Fred was special to so many people, and so many people were special to him. We know you'll love hearing from the people who loved and admired him. We hope you will also enjoy the musical selections. Fred's lifelong passion for music, and for the arts in general, was the realm where he was, perhaps, best able to express his deepest feelings. And through his songs, he continued to express those feelings and communicate them to Mary almost up until the day he died.
My sister Rachel and I sang two songs from "Brigadoon" to him right before he died, and we had sung those songs with him so many times on car trips when we were kids. His eyes, and his eyebrows, sang along with us that one last time. It was a wild and snowy and windy afternoon in late December.
We have one addition to the program. Nicholas Kahn-Fogel, Fred's first grandchild, is going to speak right after Peter Boone. So we're going to add that to the program. Thank you again for coming.
GLENN ALTSCHULER: Alfred Kahn was not Al. He was Fred. It was the right name. It is neither fanciful, nor frivolous, in my view, to say that, every time he planted his feet on life's dance floor, he was, metaphorically of course, a Fred Astaire.
Like Astaire, Fred was slim and had a receding hairline. Despite less than operatic pipes, he loved to sing. Most of all, he was nimble, innovative, understated, witty, gracious, and graceful.
In the field of marginal cost economics, as a professor and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences here at Cornell, as chairman of the New York State Public Service Commission, as head of the Civil Aeronautics Board, as chair of the President's Council on wage and price stability, as a consultant, and as an expert witness, Fred was street smart, book smart, conscientious, compassionate, articulate, and ambitious. He never took his status, his superiors, or himself too seriously, and invariably, he approached day to day challenges and crises with humility, humanity, consistent principles, good judgment, and when necessary, firmness. On the job or at home, Fred knew how to laugh without reservation, or as Jews often say, with tears in his eyes.
These special qualities made him a splendid teacher and faculty advisor, still remembered by former students as the most significant influence on them at Cornell. They allowed him to produce the incisive Kahn-Bowers Report, a precient analysis of Cornell's past, present, and future used by presidents and provosts for decades. They helped him guide Cornell as Dean deftly from 1969 to 1974, perhaps the most politically polarized period in the university's history, when racial incidents seemed to occur every week, and Vietnam War protesters took over Carpenter, the engineering library, and renamed it Giap Cabral Hall. Fred also transformed the office of Arts and Sciences Dean forever-- for ill, some say, as well as good-- by taking on significant responsibility for fund raising.
Everything he did, he did effectively and elegantly. Whether or not he was dressed in white tie and tails, Fred also tiptoed, tapped, and foxtrotted with style, and some serenity, around and through the national political scene, where the long knives are always out. Although it has been misunderstood and abused, his approach to disregulat-- to deregulation, which was balanced, nuanced, progressive, and pragmatic, remains relevant for policymakers across the ideological spectrum.
Fred Astaire didn't dance the depression away, and perhaps because he refused to fix the economy by punishing working class and middle class Americans, Fred Kahn didn't subdue inflation. But he didn't whine about his lack of success, nor search for scapegoats. He didn't lose his perspective, his sense of irony, or his playful dexterity with the English language. Maybe that's why just about every one of his colleagues in the Carter administration, as well as at Cornell, enjoyed, admired, and respected him.
Convinced that President Carter didn't fire him because no one else was foolish enough to take the job, Fred retired in 1980 to Cornell and to his wonderful home on Cayuga Lake. He swam every day, rejoined the Gilbert and Sullivan loving savoy arts as the very model of a major general, and in an uncharacteristically un-Astairish act, paid for a urinal at Cinemopolis. He became an expert on the communications industry, extending his broad band of knowledge to broadbands, and he rejoiced because he had more time with Mary, for whom he always had time. She, of course, was his Ginger. Unlike Astaire, he would never, ever dance with another partner, not even if she tapped like Eleanor Powell or looked like Cyd Charisse.
Fred's devotion to Mary said so much about them, and about him, when after many long years, he had to acknowledge that it was no longer feasible for Mary to remain in their apartment at Kendall, and she moved downstairs. Fred lobbied the administration to get a larger bed for her room so that the two of them could spend part of the night together. It's easy to imagine him sliding under the covers and singing, (SINGING) Heaven. I'm in heaven when we're out together, dancing cheek to cheek.
(NORMAL TONE) Some years ago, Fred was delighted when a room at Lincoln Hall, Cornell's music building, was named for him. He wanted to be remembered, he told me, long after he was gone. Rest in peace, my friend. You are, and you will be.
ROBERT FRANK: Fred was the Dean of the arts college when I arrived here in 1972. He quickly went on to chair the Public Service Commission, and I worked with him a little bit in odd appearances there. And then I went down to work for him in Washington when he was the chairman of CAB, and he and I were in close touch for 38 years. There's never anyone quite like him that I've met before or since.
I'm extremely honored to be a participant in this service. It's not a tearful occasion by any stretch for me. It's a totally joyful occasion.
Fred died at age 93. I can't imagine he would have looked back and had-- I wish I'd done this, or I wish I'd done that, on his mind. I think, when I counsel my sons on a life well lived, there's no one I could point to besides Fred as a better exemplar.
One interesting thing I noticed about him early on was that he read all of his speeches. I'd never really seen anybody from academia do that outside of a philosophy department. But the really striking thing was that no one who didn't stand behind the podium would have any idea that he was reading his speeches, so natural and conversational in tone were they.
He came out of the DuPont Circle metro station one morning when I was walking to work at the CAB, and I have a very vivid memory of him still with his tape recorder in hand, dictating a memo as he walked along. And I heard him dictate many times, and you could just hear the commas, the ellipses, the semicolons all falling neatly into place. There was never a syllable misplaced in any of the things he spoke or wrote. It was a marvelous, precise concern for language that I think is extremely rare, especially among members of our discipline.
When I was preparing today, I had written a column shortly after Fred died. We were told we had five minutes to speak. I didn't know how long five minutes took. Academics never talk for five minutes.
So I had my wife sit down, and I read my column to her, and I had a clock going. I'd worked hard on this column. Well, that's everything I could think of to say, so why don't I just read that. It took five minutes and 45 seconds, so I thought, well, I can't do that.
But the real reason I couldn't do that was the grimace on my wife's face. If I read a speech, it sounds like when you read a speech. It's a horrible wooden way to deliver remarks to a group. So I sat down-- well, what shall I say?
I am going to read something. It's from a memo, a very famous memo, that Fred wrote when he first went to the CAB. Some background first-- if you know about Fred's love of language, you know how dumbstruck he was at the sight of the prose going out under the chairman's signature written by CAB lawyers and staff economists. Here's a paragraph from one of the CAB staff memos.
"The holder of a CAB certificate may continue to serve regularly, any point named herein, through the airport last regularly used by the holder, to serve such a point prior to the effective date of the certificate. Upon compliance with such procedures relating thereto, as may be prescribed by the Board, the holder may, in addition to the services here and above expressly prescribed, regularly serve a point named herein through any airport convenient thereto." It was memos like that that provoked his memo to the board's staff, urging them to write in plain English. "If you can't explain what you're doing in plain English," he wrote, "probably you're doing something wrong. Every time you're tempted to use herein or here and about or here and under or, similarly, therein, there and above, or there and under, and the corresponding variance," he went on, "try here or there or above or below and see if it doesn't make just as much sense."
He was people's enemy number one in the battle against the use of the passive voice. The passive voice, he wrote, is wildly overused in government writing. Typically, its purpose is to conceal information. One is less likely to be jailed if one says, he was hit by a stone, than if he says, I hit him with a stone.
The active voice is far more forthright, direct, and humane-- and above all, humane. What a humane man Fred Kahn was. He advised his staff members to read your memo to your 10-year-old kids, and if they laugh out loud, sit down and rewrite it and keep doing that until they stop laughing.
He wasn't a formalist. The discipline has taken a very formal turn since he began his career, but I think his emphasis on plain language has an important message, even for today's accountants. Many macroeconomists would do well to heed a variant of his dictum-- try to explain your macroeconomic model out loud in plain English, and if it provokes derisive laughter, rethink the model. Maybe it's not saying what you think it's saying, or maybe your message isn't quite clearly crafted enough. In any case, we do need to rethink a lot of the stuff we're doing in the light of the crisis that went on.
Everyone has mentioned that Fred was an enormously warm and charming man. There was a story circulating, when I first came to Cornell, when he was the Dean of the arts college, about an English professor who had complained to him about the abysmal salaries in the humanities. Now, Fred was a very caring and kind man, but I think anyone who dealt with him professionally knew what an incredible, tough-minded streak resided within him as well. He was not a sentimentalist. His advice to the English professor was perhaps you should consider starting an English consulting firm.
But again, mostly I remember Fred for his generosity. A couple of years, I was invited to give a presentation at the Bookery, our local bookstore. And Fred, aged 91, with his walker, somehow got word of the fact that I was going to be there that day and shuffled, on foot, into the Bookery and was there and offered support at the end. What a wonderful man. I'm so proud to have known him.
PAUL JOSKOW: Good afternoon. I first met Fred Kahn in early 1963, just before I was 16 years old. I had started my search for colleges. Fred was a friend of my father's and my mother's, and an advisor to my father and Irwin Stelzer when they founded NERA in 1961, and Fred worked as a consultant with people at NERA until he died.
Even then, at the age of 44, Fred was a very wise man. He led me to undergraduate education here at Cornell, as he did my sister and my brother, and he was my undergraduate advisor. Fred played a very important role in the lives of my entire family. Fred's undergraduate course in industrial organization had focused on the economics of antitrust and regulation, taught Socratically each year to about 100 students with Fred marching up and down the aisles asking questions, reflected his commitment to showing how microeconomics could be applied objectively to public policy issues. This and his boundless energy made this the best course that I took in any subject at Cornell.
And since Fred got his PhD at Yale, so did I, and it was Fred who helped me through the most difficult stage of being a PhD student, which is to choose a thesis, and help me decide to write something on the-- do some research on the economics of regulation. And at that time, any on the faculty at Yale told me that this was not a subject area that would lead to a good job. Well, I eventually got a job at MIT.
Fred grew up during the depression, and his career, I think, reflected that experience. He was committed to using economics to create a better world for all of the people. This was reflected in his research and writing, and his commitment to public service that we've all heard about. Although Fred was serious and committed, he always engaged his academic and political adversaries intellectually and with respect. This is why his friends span a very wide range of the political spectrum.
He was also very funny, and this did not hurt in his dealings with friend and foe. I remember in 2001, we were testifying with him on a panel before the Senate Committee on investigations that was investigating the California electricity crisis, and about 2:30, Fred jumped up and said, Senator Collins, I'm sorry, I must leave. The last plane to Ithaca is leaving in an hour because of airline deregulation. When Fred was dean, I called him one day, and I-- and I said, well, Fred, how do you like being dean? And he said, well, I can sum it up as follows-- faculty is to dean as dean is to hydrant.
We should also learn from Fred that intellectual life does not end at 65 or 70 or whatever the normal retirement age is these days. He kept working on economic problems long after he retired from the faculty at Cornell. Indeed, he filed testimony at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a difficult regulatory problem in 2010, just before he turned 93, and they're still deliberating the final outcome of that proceeding.
The most important thing I learned from Fred as an economist, especially in applying economics to policy issues, is nicely summed up in the Ely lecture that he gave at the American Economic Association meetings in 1979. And for those of you who aren't economists, the Ely lecture is an honor bestowed by the American Economic Association to one economist each year to give a special lecture, and Fred was chosen in 1979. So I'll just end by quoting from part of that. And I think the economists here, in particular, will appreciate it, especially now, when issues of regulation and deregulation are in the papers every day.
So Fred writes-- "The slate on which the economist regulator writes is scribbled with the scratchings of lawyers, jurists, and politicians. The world to which he would apply his principles is excruciatingly imperfect and resistant. The really challenging job is deciding not what the ultimate economically rational equilibrium should look like, but what is economically rational in an irrational , world and how best to get from here to there. That turn-- that too, turns out to be a kind of frontier, and life on it is full of excitement."
Fred conveyed this excitement to thousands of students and policymakers, now scattered around the world. And every time I write a paper or give a talk, I always say to myself, would Fred be excited about this, and what would he think? Thank you.
DENNIS RAPP: This is a tribute to Fred Kahn's career in public service. Fred Kahn's six years of public service, between 1974 and 1980, were among the more notable periods in his life and varied career. That service vaulted him to national and international recognition and respect for his professional knowledge, skills, and his personal integrity. These years included the chairmanships of the New York State Public Service Commission, the Federal Civil Aeronautics Board, and advisor to the president on inflate-- to President Carter on inflation. By the way, Fred always remarked that "czar" was a newspaper creation.
His contributions during those years of service, to the lasting benefit of consumers and a more efficient economy, left a legacy already engraved in history. They also honored Fred's wife and family, his colleagues in public service and in his profession, and Cornell University. I was privileged to have served under Fred in each of these ventures.
During his time at the New York PSC, he oversaw modifications to the utility regulatory system to install improved policies, like marginal cost and time of use pricing, which permanently changed the practice of utility rate making in New York. This policy was embraced by utility regulatory agencies and other states to the lasting benefit of consumers, and utilities as well. President Carter's offer to Fred in 1977, to chair the Civil Aeronautics Board caused Fred to have some measure of hesitation. He was not then familiar with the details of federal economic regulation or the transportation industry, airlines in particular. Nevertheless, Fred accepted the president's invitation and moved to Washington to assume the CAB chairmanship.
His service at the CAB was energized by the opportunity, as he saw it, to eliminate inefficient economic, regulatory control over the structurally competitive air service industry. The success and national recognition he received in this area can best be attributed to his persuasive presentations before the relevant committees of Congress to encourage amendment of the 1938 Aviation Act. This set the stage for ending federal economic regulation of the industry and the eventual demise of the Civil Aeronautics Board.
After the president signed Aviation Deregulation Statute, he invited Fred to move to the White House to assume leadership of the administration's effort to curb inflation. CPI, at the time, was registering in the double digits. With reluctance and trepidation, and after several meetings of arm twisting and cajoling convened by the vice president and the administration's economic policy group, Fred accepted. Everybody recalls the frustrations Fred experienced during the months that followed with no major staff capability, legal authority, or program in place to address the inflation problem. Fred was just out there jawboning business and labor to get them to cooperate and to spin down the wage price spiral.
In spite of his often expressed desire to leave and return to his cherished Cornell, Fred remained loyal to the president, knowing that resigning would further blemish the president's up to then dismal record for bringing inflation under control. While tolerating the soaring RPI-- soaring CPI, but still struggling to produce a small measure of improvement in the inflation front, Fred, meanwhile, took advantage of his White House position to persuade the president to appoint Darius Gaskins, one of Fred's former CAB senior staffers, to the chair of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Within months thereafter, Darius succeeded in instituting the changes to regulation of the trucking industry that generated increased competition and lower prices and shipper benefits analogous to those generated for travelers and shippers by the deregulation of air service.
Fred never relented in his insistence on clearing unambiguous writing, speaking, and correct usage. After he returned one day from an introductory meeting with a key Carter cabinet member, whose support was essential to addressing certain inflation issues, I asked him how it went. Fred responded, quote-- "We had a productive discussion, and he's a personable fellow, but you know, uses impact as a verb."
PETER BRADFORD: I was a utility regulator in the state-- no, that's not a confession-- in the state of-- in the state of Maine in the early 1970s, when Fred published, "The Economics of Regulation," and by happy chance, met him when he came to speak about it at Colby College at that time. I've been kind of a regulatory minstrel ever since, and it's from that perspective that I'll speak today. Professionally, Fred could be a paradox. The least dismal of men was prominent and merry in the dismal science.
Most headlines on his passing referred to him as a deregulator, but his magnum opus was called "The Economics of Regulation." Had regulators been more receptive of Fred's teachings, the case for deregulation would have been less compelling. To give you an understanding of why this didn't happen, of just how rare a bird Fred was at a meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, also known as NARUC, in 1974, when he was appointed chair of the New York Public Service Commission, perhaps I should make clear that Fred was not NARUC's best known utility commissioner of that era, and not by a long shot. That would have been Theophilus Eugene Connor, better known as Bull.
Bull had parlayed the name recognition gained abusing civil rights marchers in Birmingham in the 1960s into election to the presidency of the Alabama Public Service Commission, the culmination of his governmental career. Bull, and others no better qualified, dominated the state regulatory community in that era, and Fred fit on the NARUC executive committee as well as Einstein would have fit Rikers Island. As Fred himself would have explained it to a chorus of perplexed grunts, declining long run marginal costs in the utility industry of the 1960s created a happy environment in which profits could increase as long as prices stayed the same, pleasing customers and companies alike and leading to a pronounced lack of attention to the legions of political cronies who were named utilities commissions. OPEC and the nuclear cost overruns were to change all of that on Fred's watch, but not right away.
Fred never ceased trying to convert his new colleagues to marginalist principles. Wanting to demonstrate familiarity with this exotic person, while avoiding, wherever possible, the implications of his teachings, they showed off their close personal acquaintance by, in the words of the Paul Simon song, calling him out. Fred's modest proposals for the improvement of state regulation were routinely voted down by margins of about 17 to 3 in the NARUC executive committee.
But it isn't to the resolutions of that executive committee that regulators still look for guidance four decades later. The principles that Fred has set forth in decisions, in his book, in his essays, in testimony, and in speeches, are as pertinent today as ever before, and they will endure as long as economic regulation itself. Regulators, utilities, and industrial customers each had their own reasons for resisting the marginal cost pricing innovations that Fred saw it as chair of the New York Public Service Commission to engender.
The industrial customers tried to disqualify Fred from presiding over New York's determinative marginal cost pricing case on the grounds that he had prejudged the issues. In discussing this motion, which of course, he rejected, we developed the concept of [INAUDIBLE], as in, I've spent a lifetime studying these issues, so of course, I understand them better than you do. This may have been the same occasion on which we worked out the concept of peak pricing-- not the one in which services at the time of high demand cost more than the rest, but the one spelled P-I-Q-U-E.
Under this concept, Fred would double the rate of the industrial customers who sought to disqualify him in a two word opinion reading, take that. Of course, we never did these things, but Fred came close when he got the now famous letter of complaint from a good friend, bemoaning that deregulation had so crowded the airlines that he had been forced to sit next to a malodorous hippie, and now felt that regulation didn't smell so bad after all. Thanking him for his carefully considered views, Fred explained that due process of law required that he take no further action until he had heard from the hippie.
Fred became a regulator at a time when economic regulation was said to be a surrogate for competition-- that is, it strove to produce, in monopoly industries, the quest for efficiency and customer satisfaction that would be essential to prospering in competitive markets. But within a few years, regulation went from being competition surrogate to being its midwife, roles as different in economics as they are in obstetrics. Indeed, one of Fred's later publications had, as its title, something of the tone of the exasperated midwife letting go, deregulating the process of deregulation.
But Fred's approaches were grounded in principles, especially the need to relate prices to marginal costs rather than in the attempted prophecies that so often lead regulators astray. Because of this, he was better able than the rest to make sense of, and even to guide, the confusing transitions from surrogate to midwife in the regulation of several diverse industries. Along with his many specific lessons, that general one endures.
I never really believed that Fred and Mary were my parents' age. Vitality and accessibility always made them seem like contemporaries. In the first years of our acquaintance, though, I and other new regulators hesitated to call Fred, doubting that so eminent a person would return our calls and take on our dilemmas. But he always did, and quickly. It's almost impossible to accept now that he no longer will.
[MUSIC - "EVERY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE"]
SINGERS: (SINGING) Every time we say goodbye, I die a little. Every time we say goodbye, I wonder why a little, why the gods above me, who must be in the know, think so little of me, they allowed you to go.
When you're near, there's such an air of spring about it. I can hear a lark somewhere begin to sing about it.
There's no love song finer.
Yet how strange the change from major to minor.
Every time we say goodbye.
Every time we say goodbye, I die a little. Every time we say goodbye, I wonder why a little, why the gods above me, who must be in the know, think so little of me, they allowed you to go.
When you're near, there's such an air of spring about it. I can hear a lark somewhere being to sing about it.
There's no love song finer.
Yet how strange the change from major to minor.
Every time we say goodbye.
JOEL SIMMONS KAHN: Over here. I should point out, I'm glad she said that. This is the family part of the thing. I was doing very well until that slide show, and-- and then that song. I'm sorry, I kind of lost it here.
I wanted to say that you will hear Fred's children speak, and one of his grandchildren, but that he has eight grandchildren here today that have come from far and wide. I think that says a lot. But even more, he has two great grandchildren here, which I sort of wanted to bring up with me when I spoke, but I guess I can't do that. There's Mary Alden there, his great grandchild, and Zoe way at the back who just said grandpa who's Fred's great grandchild. He saw his-- he saw her before he died.
I'd like to echo Hannah's thanks to the economics department for this wonderful organization. I'm so grateful. I was off in Melbourne having medical treatment. There's nothing I could-- I feel terribly guilty about having done nothing for [INAUDIBLE]. And of course, to Dan, who just done a fantastic job.
I would also like to thank, for causing me to stumble here, Rachel Best for that fantastic slideshow and all the work she put into it. And to the musicians who-- Fred would have loved that music. That was very important, and a couple of those musicians are very dear friends, including Adam, my friend for many, many years, sang that song and broke me up, too. So thanks for that, Adam. Very great-- I really am grateful.
I've also written my speech out. I guess I learned that from Fred, but unlike Fred, mine are the boring clunkers that academics who write out speeches tend to give. I don't know how it's possible for me to say what I want to say about my father in the five minutes that I have allotted to me, so instead what I decided to do-- we've heard a lot about Fred and a lot of quite heroic things about Fred. He was a marvelous man, my beloved father, but I was going to try to conjure up a fragment of that complex man who my father was, or at least seemed to be to me, which is not a heroic-- particularly heroic or wonderful story, but it's just incredibly evocative to me.
Fred wasn't much one for reminiscing, with me anyway. Too much sentiment. I don't-- I'm not sure. So I don't actually really have a terribly good sense of what his parents were like, or what his life was like when he was young.
But not that long ago, he told me a very short little story about his father, which I didn't know at all. I didn't know his father. I guess I met him when I was 1-- about how, when his father went to the cinema-- sorry, I've been living in England a long time-- the movie theater. He couldn't sit still for any length of time in his seat at the cinema, but while the film played, he watched it, but he'd spend the whole time going up and down the aisles.
Not much of a memory, I suppose, of a grandfather who I never knew. But it tells me something both about my paternal grandfather, but also quite a lot about Fred himself, for all of us who knew and loved Fred, I think, would immediately recognize in him that exact same trait, whatever you want to call it, impatience. Let's get on with things.
When, for example, after the family meal, Fred would leap up to his feet and start clearing away the dishes instantly and putting them all away in the dishwasher and washing up. And Mary kept saying, much to Mary's chagrin, she would say please stop. Sit down. Contribute to the social occasion. But Fred wouldn't sit still.
He never sat quietly at home. He was not only always doing something, but always multitasking, which I'm sure is a word he'd hate, but I thought I'd throw it in. He was always-- my memory of him, as he's listening to music, he's going through the draft of someone's PhD thesis and filling the margin was endless penciled corrections in very small print-- and I know this because he did it to mine, too-- and carrying on a conversation with those around him, although giving you the impression that he wasn't quite there, and all at the same time. And this trait came out all over the place in Fred.
He-- we used to watch baseball games together on TV, but of course, Fred would never just sit down and watch a baseball game. He'd have to be reading the paper and multitasking and talking on the phone and dictating on the dictation machine. But he used to stop long enough to rail against the fact that every time a pitcher decided to have an intentional walk-- in baseball, as you may know, instead of just saying walk that man, he'll throw four balls. And Fred said, what a waste of time. Why-- just say, I walk that man.
Or when a player hits a home run, he trots around the bases. Fred would say, why? I mean, what's the point? Let's just get on with it.
Or if he had to go to a meeting, an appointment, or something, he would become desperate if he'd forgot to bring a thesis or the New York Times or something because, God forbid, he would have to wait five minutes in a waiting room without accomplishing something. Or as-- his total impatience of the niceties of dressing to impress, to make sure your clothes matched. You saw some photos there, I think. I mean, who can forget those horrible white tennis shoes? And one of the great tragedies of Mary's Alzheimer's is that he could then go out the door wearing these things.
Or in Fred's idea of a vacation-- anyone who has been on a trip with Fred, and I've been on many trips with Fred around Europe, will know that it is much harder work making sure you've seen everything worth seeing than any job could ever be. We often joked about what Fred-- since we now live in Australia, what Fred would be like on a beach holiday in Queensland somewhere. Can you imagine him lying on a beach, sipping a cocktail, and doing what all resorts ask you to do in Australia, which is to pamper yourself?
Now, it's hard to say why I'm telling you all this. This is-- as I said, these are not heroic characteristics, but they bring Fred back to me in ways which some of the others perhaps don't. I guess I'm saying it for several reasons. First, I wanted to say, first, that my beloved father, who was so unique in many ways, was actually a concatenation-- a word I love-- concatenation of thousands of little fragments, such as this one, this little fragment of his personality, which came from all over the place.
Many, obviously, come from his family, and I recognize this in people of his generation and his family. But I don't think they're genetic. I'm sure he was shaped, in all these fragments that were Fred, by a very large circle of colleagues, friends, and family, most of whom, or many of whom, are here today.
I also want to say I think that the real reason I keep find myself coming back, again and again, to this story about his father walking up and down the aisles of the cinema is not even what it tells me about Fred, but that I do it, too. And this-- this, in many ways, I obviously am not Fred. I am not-- I have not done all the wonderful accomplishments Fred has done.
But this impatience-- I can't sit down after a meal. I'm up like a shot. I still watch baseball. I've just come and spent two months in New York and watched baseball games, and every time I see an intentional walk, I get an enraged.
So it's come out in me, and this leads me to the third reason why I keep coming back to this story, and why I decided about something maybe apparently trivial about all the things I could have said about Fred, and that is, just as Fred was a concatenation-- I had to say it again-- of a myriad of ways of thinking, being, behaving, and being in the world, so there are fragments of Fred not just in me or in the others who are speaking, but in all of us here today. And I don't actually mean this just metaphorically. I might call it Fred's karma, but then Jess might think I was talking like a hippie again.
So let's just say, using the notion of neuroplasticity instead-- I'm talking about the neuroplas-- neural pathways laid down in each of us who's spent any time interacting with Fred over the years. Their neural pathways [INAUDIBLE] that are Fred, and what this means to me anyway, is that in gathering together to celebrate the life of Fred Kahn, we're bringing most of these fragments back together again for a brief moment of time. Fred is, for me, quite literally here with us today, and this gives me some comfort. And for this, making this possible, I thank all of you for coming and bringing your little bit of Fred together.
RACHEL KAHN-FOGEL: I'm Rachel Kahn-Fogel, Fred and Mary's middle child, and when our daughter Emily died, I fell for a William Wordsworth poem, Surprised by Joy, which he wrote when his daughter died. And I read it at Fred's burial, at a very small gathering, and I wanted to read it again today.
Surprised by joy, impatient as the wind, I turn to share the transport, oh, with whom but thee, deep buried in the silent tomb, that spot which no vicissitude can find. Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind, but how could I forget thee? Through what power, even for the least division of an hour, have I been so beguiled as to be blind to my most grievous loss? That thought's return was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore save one, one only-- when I stood forlorn knowing my heart's best treasure was no more, that neither present time nor years unborn could, to my sight, that Heavenly face restore.
ADAM: I did not know Fred Kahn the economist or the professor or the Washington crusader or an inflation fighter who warned us of impending bananas. But I knew Fred Kahn the loving father, the doting husband, and the good friend who always had the time and a generous cheering word for you no matter what. I came to Ithaca in 1957, after my parents divorced and a devastating house fire that burned our house to the ground, and was immediately welcomed in by the Kahn family, and have never, ever forgotten their kindness and their generosity to me. We would like to dedicate this song to Fred and Mary.
[MUSIC - "OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY"]
(SINGING) The more I read the papers, the less I comprehend the world in all its capers and how it all will end. Nothing seems to be lasting, but that isn't our affair. We've got something permanent, I mean in the way we care.
It's very clear our love is here to stay. Not for a year, but ever and a day. The radio and the telephone and the movies that we know may just be passing fancies, and in time, may go. But, oh, my dear, our love is here to stay.
Together we're going a long, long way. In time, the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble. They're only made of clay. But our love is here-- our love is here-- our love is here to stay.
PETER SIMMONS BOONE: Great job on that song, Adam. Fred sang that song at my wedding, so that song is very special to me. Thank you all for coming here today and helping us commemorate the amazing life of Fred Kahn. I have the honor and privilege of being Fred's nephew, and he was my guardian and surrogate father since I was the age of 13.
And here's a few adjectives that I'd like to use to describe Fred. We've heard them already today, so they're pretty consistent-- intelligent, witty, funny, principled, sensitive, generous, kind, magnetic, energetic, exuberant, and cheerful, and optimistic. Fred was a giant both in public life, and also within our family. Let me talk a little bit about his remarkable life here.
He was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1917. He was-- his parents were Jewish immigrants from what is now Poland-- Jacob and Bertha, Russian speaking. His father had a silk factory and employed members of the family who immigrated to the US. His mother died of tuberculosis when Fred was 8, and his sister Hannah served like a surrogate mother to him.
Fred met Mary and married her in 1942, and he has three amazing children, who've all spoken here today-- Joel, Rachel, and Hannah, who've treated me like their brother, and I'm very proud of that. As you know, Fred had an incredible love of musicals, and especially Gilbert and Sullivan. I'm going to talk a little bit about some of Fred's humor today, and how he used-- as we've heard already, how Fred used his wit and humor to win over his friends and disarm some potential rivals as well.
And he often used Spoonerisms, reversing first letters or syllables from the first name and reversing up with the first letter or syllable in the last name. And one of his favorites was an old family friend from Minneapolis, Roddy Share, and to Fred, he was Shoddy Rare. And only Fred could get away with these kind of jokes and never hurt anybody's feelings.
He was also great with nicknames all around the family, and Hannan was Hanson Bananson. I was Peter [INAUDIBLE] or [INAUDIBLE]. He would reverse all the letters in your names. Gordon Clark was Gorgonzola or Nog Rock. And Gladys was [INAUDIBLE], which is Glad Ice in Italian.
And Fred was humorous around everybody, even the President of the United States. You may recall the Three Mile Island accident, and President Carter approved that a nuclear engineer visited the Three Mile Island accident, where there was nuclear waste spilled. And he was in a spacesuit there over the weekend, and Fred had a Monday morning meeting-- breakfast meeting with the president. And Fred walked into the meeting and said, Mr. President, I'll have you know, I'm wearing my lead underwear today.
So Fred had a line that could get him out of any kind of difficult situation, and when he was teamed up with Mary, it was kind of-- he was the funny man, and she was kind of the straight person, and she was awfully good at that. And we were at a kind of a fancy dinner party once, and Fred had some food on his cheek. And Mary said, Fred, you've got food on your cheek, and he said, I'm saving that in case I get hungry later.
So he could always had a line that would get him out of any difficult situation, and sometimes, his humor was a little bit wacky, too. We went-- just about two years ago, we were down at the supermarket, and he picked up some apple juice. And he said to Mary, shall we get this urine? And Mary had had Alzheimer's for 20 years, and I said to her, Mary, did you think that was funny? And she said, I think I thought it was funny the first time I heard it, so she still had a pretty good memory on certain things.
So another short story. This one isn't as humorous, but it was a story about Fred and what kind of incredible strength he had, and courage and good spirit, even when he was very sick at the end. He was energetic, too. He was-- had an oxygen tank. He would wheel it around. He did not want to sit in a wheelchair.
We went to dinner with him last December, Amanda and-- my wife Amanda and Emily, and Fred was in a lot of pain by that time. He was on anti pain drugs and had trouble breathing, but Amanda thought of a great question to ask him that was totally pertinent. And she asked him to recall what it was like meeting Mary Kahn. And Fred just beamed as if it occurred just a week before, and he told us the whole story, that I really hadn't heard. And I just wanted to share a little bit of it with you here.
He was in a singing group in Washington, and Mary was in the audience looking quite elegant. Smoking a cigarette was considered elegant in those days. I guess the advertising worked. And he met her after the chorus and asked her out on a date.
And Fred was quite a good student in those days, but he wasn't such a great ladies man. And he hadn't led a-- did not have a lot of experience dating. So the first date, he asked-- and he asked us later if we thought that was a good idea. It was to go play ping-pong.
And she went, and they had a pretty good time. But it turned out he didn't see her for a couple of weeks after that first date, and he wasn't even quite sure if he could ask her out on a second date. He was almost overwhelmed with her beauty, and it turns out that he was on a city bus in Washington, and this was just fate. And there was some commotion-- a young woman was coming down the aisle. It was a hot day in the summer, and it turned out to be Mary Simmons.
And she spotted Fred in the back before he saw her and asked if she could sit next to him and said how glad she was to see him again, and his confidence just soared. And he then asked her out again that night for a second date, and this time it was to go see Casablanca, which was a new movie then. And his heart sank when he called her, and she said that she'd already seen the movie, but then the next sentence that came out is, but I'd like to see it again with you, Fred.
And they-- that was it. They had a third date. There's a well-known picture within the Kahn family of the third date. They were at a picnic lying on a hill, and you've all seen that, and it looks like they'd been together for years already. So that was-- they were a unit then, and they still are today.
A final short story I wanted to share with you, again, about his humor and also his incredible strength and courage. All of the staff at [INAUDIBLE] here really were quite enthusiastic about Fred. They just really adored him. They called him Freddy. He was so kind to them, and we're really proud of him that he had all these friends there and treated the staff so well.
And just before he died, he had a lot going on with his oxygen tubes were wrapped around his ears up here, and his glasses were up there, and also his hearing aid. So he had three things going on with his ears, and he couldn't keep it all together. And even the nurse couldn't get it on, and he said to her, oh, don't worry about it. I just need another set of ears, and you'd be all set. And that's how Fred always was.
And so-- and just one final thing I wanted to mention is how he connected with Mary even when she had severe Alzheimer's these last few years, and a lot of it was through his singing. And he did some research and found out that, somehow, music can trigger memories much better than anything else. And so many of you may have seen, Fred would sing to her just about every day, and he would really connect with her. And Mary would-- Fred would sing most of the phrase, and she would complete the last line in the song, and that's one of the ways they would connect together.
Fred, you were an amazing man. You're my hero, and you're the hero for many of us here today. We love you, and we'll miss you, and we'll always cherish you, dear friend.
NICHOLAS KAHN-FOGEL: Well, I wanted to talk a little bit about what it was like to have Fred as a grandfather. Mary and Fred's grandchildren were scattered around the country, and in fact, around the world. But I think that, for all of us, Ithaca in general, and in particular, the lake house that they had for a lot of our childhoods, was sort of like a second home, where we used to spend a lot of our summers, and we would-- we would also come most winters.
Being there with them, you had to feel like the luckiest person in the world to have Mary and Fred as grandparents. Everything about them was loving and fun, and from the perspective of a child, and even, frankly, as an adult, they had the presence of movie stars. It was their combination of intellect and athleticism and generosity and charm, and being with them was like being in paradise.
Speaking of Fred's athleticism, he was a tennis player, a skier when he had knees. He swam every day into his 90s. And I remember several years ago, he was sort of reminiscing and lamenting the fact that he could no longer run because his knees were no good, and-- but talking about how much he used to love, when he was a relatively young man, running across Cornell's campus from his office to the classroom.
Fred took a deep interest in the lives of all of his grandchildren. He loved following things, like Eli's amateur tennis career and Sophie's art. And he was always intensely curious about our various scholastic and professional endeavors. I remember when I was a little kid, he used to love following my height as I would get taller and taller, and when I'd see him in the summer after several months, he used to say, very affectionately, I didn't know they stacked it that high. And then he would throw me over his shoulder and carry me around, which was very nice.
But one of the things that was so great about Fred was how much he just loved having frivolous fun, despite having all these serious accomplishments. Driving into town last night was sort of an unplanned tour of really fantastic memories of Fred as we drove past Cass Park toward the house that we've rented, past the hangar theater where Fred took me to a production of The Man of La Mancha when I was about 11 or 12. We passed, on Route 13, the Science Center, where I went with Fred the last time he and I saw each other, which was last summer.
I came for a short visit, and Fred wanted to go to this Science Center. And I said, but isn't that for kids? And Fred said, yeah, but I'd like to go, and he was pretty weak at the time, and I was mostly rolling him around in a wheelchair.
But we got to the Science Center, and there were a lot of pretty fun things there. But one thing in particular was, there was a sound chamber, and you could go inside the sound chamber, and it would measure how many decibels you could produce when you screamed. So here we were, a 34-year-old man and his 92-year-old grandfather having a screaming contest at the Science Center. I won.
Another thing that I think was very charming about Fred was the sort of childlike delight he continued to take in his accomplishments, and how much he loved to share that with the people he loved. This past year, I was living abroad, and so the combination of having an international connection and Fred's partial deafness made it difficult to talk. But the last time we spoke was on December 17th, 10 days before he died, and after several attempts to understand what we were saying to each other through the crackling line and his deafness, I-- and I finally understood that what he was trying to tell me was that there had recently been a Jeopardy question that had involved his deregulating the airlines. And so here he was, 10 days before he died, and still taking a great deal of joy that Alex Trebek had mentioned his name.
There's one other story that-- I read this story on the internet. There was a sort of memorial through, I think, a funeral home, where people could post comments about Fred after he died. And someone who had posted a comment there was a woman who didn't know Fred, but who had met him in a grocery store years and years ago.
And in this grocery store, this woman was in line in front of Fred, and she wrote this paragraph about how touched she had been that she had realized she didn't have her checkbook with her. And Fred, who didn't know her, just spontaneously offered to pay for her groceries, and said, don't worry about it, you can pay me back later. And she did. She sent him a check later. But she was immensely touched by this episode that had occurred many years before.
I think it's representative of who Fred was that, whenever there was a choice to make about how to behave, his impulse was always to choose humor and generosity. It's obvious, from the people who've spoken here, that Fred deeply touched the lives of his students, of his colleagues, of his acquaintances, and even of strangers in a grocery store. But he was also a wonderful grandfather, and we were all very, very lucky to have him for so long.
DANIEL KAHN-FOGEL: In the room with Fred, Rachel, Hannah, and the hospice workers in late December, it came over me that I had known, admired, and in many ways, tried to emulate Fred for more than half of his long life, and a full 3/4 of my own from the time, more than 47 years ago, when his daughter Rachel and I had fallen in love at age 16. Emulation was [INAUDIBLE], for how else but by trying to mirror Fred's quickness of mind and wit, his warmth and charm, the joy that animated his love of music and dance, his radiant charisma combined with the disarming informality of being just Fred to everyone, even when he wore a tie, how often it unaccountably leapt up to drape itself breezily over his shoulder. You can see it starting to do that on the cover of the program. It's about to leap up.
How else but by emulating him could I carry off his beautiful daughter from the Castle Keep on Oak Hill Road? It was easy to want, in some odd way, to be Fred, even as I was terrified that he would somehow know, and would deck me on sight after the first time Rachel and I kissed. How hard it was to say goodbye that dark December day six months ago.
There are here, today, many who were Fred's students, and in some sense, we all were. Handling so many of the email transactions that led from Fred's death bed to the celebration of his life, I was the recipient of many of their tributes, some from correspondent-- whose correspondence, whose age, or other pressing obligations kept them from joining us today. To cite just one instance, Claudia Golden, the Henry Lee professor of economics at Harvard, is not here only because her own 93-year-old father went into hospice earlier this week.
Claudia wrote, "I will have to cancel my long awaited trip to honor one of my two great intellectual fathers. I so wanted to come this weekend to reminisce about what made Fred great. Thinking about Fred as a teacher, mentor, and scholar makes me better at each of these aspects of being a professor. I'll never sing Gilbert and Sullivan, however, and I'll never deregulate an entire industry. Fred was one of a kind."
Claudia, Cornell class of 1967, studied with Fred some 20 years after he came to Ithaca to join the Cornell faculty in 1947, a long hard drive from Oshkosh with baby Joel and his gorgeous young wife Mary, very pregnant with Rachel. We have not heard much about Fred as a young professor, but by happen chance, Claudia Golden's other great intellectual father took economics with Fred, the Kahn's first year here in Ithaca, and that much older Fred Kahn student has described to me the rapt excitement of being in class with Fred back then. Fred's brilliance and animation, the recollection made vivid by an image of Fred sitting cross-legged on top of the desk in front of the classroom, engaged in intense dialogue with his undergraduates.
That recollection came from my uncle, my dad's younger brother Bob Fogel, Uncle Bobby to us, Cornell class of 1948 and 1993 Nobel Laureate in economics, who always maintained that he would not have become an economist had Fred not taught him in 1947-48 or counseled him to pursue his dream when Bob came to see Fred to ask him if there might be a way forward in the profession for a young man with a radical past and a black wife. Fred said yes, and Bobby went for it. It has long seemed, to me, wonderful and strange how the destinies of the Kahn and Fogel families intertwined long before that first unforgettable kiss between me and Rachel. I don't know how many doctoral dissertations Fred directed, but his influence on the economics profession through his teaching was enormous, as witnessed such former students as Bob Fogel, Claudia Golden, and Paul Joskow, and of course, in time, he turned the whole world into his classroom.
Fred sparkled, shined, dazzled. He enjoyed the devotion, deep affection, and love of old family friends and of colleagues in every venue in which he worked, and he gave back devotion, affection, and love in kind. He was, above all, devoted to Mary Simmons-Kahn for some 70 years, never more so than in recent years when the way forward for both of them was so often very hard. We wish Mary had not had to stay at Kendall this afternoon. We know she knows how much Fred loved her.
Fred doted on his children and grandchildren and his first two grandchildren-- great grandchildren, Mary Alden and Zoe, on his nephew Peter, and of course, all of his nieces and nephews and their children, and the entire extended family. He deeply loved his older brother Sid and his sister Hannah Kahn-Barsky, who became a surrogate mother for him after the early death of his mother Bertha, who we really only know from a few photographs of a young woman with astonishing, serene, and dark beauty, the image silvered over for us by the sadness of knowing how soon she would be lost to Fred's father and their young family. There must have been a deep sadness in Fred to have lost his beautiful young mother so young, and I've always felt that that sadness is written in the features of the little boy in the sailor suit we know from a few old pictures, like the one of Fred on the tricycle reproduced in "Profits of Regulation."
But we rarely, if ever, saw that sadness. Fred's gift to all of us was the transcendent power of his joy, the great zest and glow in appetite for life that energized his thought, his dancing, the irrepressible music of his spirit, and the indomitable basso-profundo of his songs. They will be with us for as long as we live. It is that soaring gift of life and love that we celebrate above all. Thank you, Freddy, from all of us with love.
Again, on behalf of the family, I want to thank all of you for being here today, to thank, once again, David Easley and the Department of Economics, along with everyone else acknowledged on the printed program, and also Matt Ryan who manages Call Auditorium, all of the speakers, of course, and all of the wonderful performers. After the last performance-- which is about to occur, this one by the Cornell SAVVY Arts with some of Fred's favorite Gilbert and Sullivan with new lyrics created for the special occasions referenced on the back of the program-- you are all invited to join us for a reception at the Andrew-Dickson White House. Thank you, everyone. SAVVY Arts, take it away.
SINGERS: (SINGING) Because your long career sometimes involved the art of singing, your hearty voice left many holes and [INAUDIBLE] tour you're bringing. Though words cannot express how pleased we are to have you with us, our lives have all been blessed because Alfred Khan is with us.
Hail Alfred Khan, our [INAUDIBLE] state. How guilded stars room all and stage. Hail friend. Your friends are here to say, all hail, all hail. We adore you today.
O'er a [INAUDIBLE] of pirate sherry, fill, oh fill a pirate glass. And to make us more than merry, let's go pirate [INAUDIBLE] pass.
For today our pirate prentice rises from indentured, freed. Strong his arm and keep his sentence, he's a pirate now, indeed.
Here's good luck to friends, adventures. Friends know how to least indentures.
One and 90, now he's rising. And alone, he's fit to fly, which we're bent on signalizing with unusual revelry.
Here's good luck to friends, adventures. Friends know how to least indentures. O'er a [INAUDIBLE] of pirate sherry. Fill, oh fill the pirate glass. And to make us more than merry, let's go pirate [INAUDIBLE] the pass.
I have a song to sing. Oh, sing me your song, oh. It is sung to the tune of a yeoman lune for a man who stood out from the corn. Oh, it's a song of merry man, money-wise, with nimble brain and with twinkling eyes. His works were praised and his class was prized as he lived by the lake with his lady.
Pity, pity, lauded was he, naturally. His works were praised and his class was prized as he lived by the lake with his lady.
I have a song to sing, oh.
What is your song, oh?
It is sung with the knell of the tower bell and a joyful peal. Ding dong, oh. Cornell University, as we've seen, took a look at his vita and made a dean. [INAUDIBLE] merry man, money-wise, with nimble brain and with twinkling eyes. His works were praised and his class was prized as he lived by the lake with his lady.
Pity, pity. Lauded was he, naturally. His works were praised and his class was prized as he lived by the lake with his lady.
I have a song to sing, oh.
Sing me your song, oh.
It is sung with a sigh and a tear in the eye, for it tells how the man said, so long. Oh, it's a song of a president sorely pressed, who sought advice and lured the best from Cornell University, who we've seen, took a look at his vita and made dean, of the popular merry man, money-wise, with nimble brain and with twinkling eyes, who packed his bags, called the friendly skies, and took off for DC with his lady.
Pity, pity. Lauded was he, naturally. He packed his bags, called the friendly skies, and took off for DC with his lady.
I have a song to sing, oh.
What is your song, oh?
It's a song rather brief called hail to the chief, for resistance to change can be strong, oh. And the man setting off of this round [INAUDIBLE] I've still got tenure, so what the hey? Oh to [INAUDIBLE] Mr. President, sorely pressed, I'll pack my bananas and head northwest, to Cornell University. Life's not long, and this job's as [INAUDIBLE] like their song, [INAUDIBLE] to the merry man, money-wise, with noble brain and with nimble eyes, his works still praised and his class still prized. He returned to the lake with his lady.
Pity, pity. Lauded was he, naturally. His works still praised and his class still prized, he returned to the lake with his lady. Pity, pity. Lauded was he, naturally. His works still praised and his class still prized, he returned to the lake with his lady.
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A public memorial for Alfred E. Kahn, sponsored by his family and the Department of Economics at Cornell University, was held Saturday, June 25.
Kahn was former chair of the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Council on Wage and Price Stability, adviser to President Jimmy Carter on inflation, and widely regarded as one of the world's leading scholars and influential figures in public utility regulation. Known as the "father of airline deregulation," he helped create free markets in the air, rail and trucking industries. He died of cancer at his home at Kendal at Ithaca on Dec. 27, at age 93.
At his death, Kahn was the Robert Julius Thorne Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus, at Cornell, where he spent most of his professional career, and a special consultant to NERA Economic Consulting.