On the afternoon of April 12, 2017, we received word that after multiple recent hospitalizations, our friend and colleague, William Norman Grigg, had died.
We have lost a champion of liberty, but we are all eternally better off for having known Will. We are fortunate to have been graced by his eloquence, to have enjoyed his good nature, and to have learned from his tremendous intellect.
In the few hours since his passing, if the outpouring of love for Will and his work are any indication, his powerful prose against war and law enforcement militarization will resonate within the libertarian community and beyond for decades to come. And rightfully so, as Will set a new standard for what it means to be an honorable libertarian and a thoughtful individual in the age of the American Empire.
Will was a gifted musician and ardent Trekkie, as well as an accomplished journalist, a skilled writer, an exceptional orator, and all-around brilliant individual.
Most importantly, Will was a loving husband to Korrin and a father to their six children, as well as a devoted man of faith.
As someone who lacks such an affinity for religion, I was struck long ago by Will’s sincere commitment to his faith and how this guided his tireless pursuit of peace and liberty, or as his blog proclaims, “Freedom in Our Time.” I will forever admire his character and respect his moral stances in the face of overwhelming odds and hardships. When Will Grigg said that he worshiped the Prince of Peace, he meant it.
I only began to get to know Will personally since the founding of the Libertarian Institute with our colleagues Scott Horton and Sheldon Richman, and I am deeply saddened by his tragic and untimely death.
He was a great advocate for peace and the libertarian tradition in these uncertain times.
Will’s body of work deserves our undivided attention and respect for his eloquent dissertations condemning government tyranny in all its forms:
“Government has one tool, and that’s violence. It has one method of operation, and that’s aggression. It has one strategy, and that’s escalation.”
Will was a fearless foe of the cult of the omnipotent state, dedicating more than two decades of his life to undermining, ridiculing, and challenging that insidious institution which suppresses freedom.
If I have failed to do Will justice, don’t let that reflect poorly on him. He was a better man than I am or could hope to be. Listening to some of his final podcasts as I write this, it is heartbreaking to know that he is no longer with us, although his incredible output of work will always remain.
A few years ago, Will wrote:
“The post-constitutional government that impudently rules us must — and will — collapse. It is irremediably vile and entirely unsustainable. In the meantime, however, I have no intention of allowing the criminals who are running it to drive me out of the country that I love, or to allow them to commit atrocities — supposedly in my name — without condemning what they do.
To digest the matter into the language of a meme: Why should I leave, when they’re the ones who are screwing things up?”
Indeed, Will, you have left us too soon. Rest in Peace.
William Norman Grigg
February 4, 1963 – April 12, 2017
To help support the Grigg family, please donate to his family fund.