The great Harold Demsetz passed away on January 4th. He was 88. Demsetz was a professor of economics at UCLA and University of Chicago who, along with his frequent co-author Armen Alchian, dramatically shaped how economists think about property rights, transaction costs, and the theory of the firm. His work laid the foundations of law & economics, environmental economics, industrial organization, and institutional economics. He was an excellent thinker and writer those of us who were his students, either directly or indirectly (like me, who benefits greatly from studying with those who studied closely with him like Walter Williams and Larry White) will miss him.
For an excellent remembrance of him, here is Pete Boettke.