I didn’t know Niskanen very well, but I recall with gratitude a kindness that he extended to GMU Econ about three or four years ago.
Traditionally, we open our annual Public Choice Outreach seminar with a talk by Jim Buchanan. Three or four years ago Jim became ill and had to cancel his talk. Scrambilng around for a prominent, intellectually meaty speaker for the event, I asked Bill Niskanen. He graciously agreed to give the opening-night address for that seminar and, although it was last-minute, did a truly superb job. It was a wonderful talk.