Remembering Paul MacCready

dinner.jpgAl Seckel writes:

To all TEDsters,

It is with the greatest of sadness that we have to inform you that our very dearest friend and fellow TEDster Dr. Paul MacCready passed away on 28th August. Everyone who is reading this knows what a great and tremendous man he was, and how he devoted his entire life to making the world qualitatively a better place, and how incredibly unselfish and giving he was to all that knew him. It was no hyperbole when Time magazine named him one of the 100 greatest minds of the 20th century.

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Just over a month ago, when we were having a private “farewell lunch” he expressed how, after years of struggling to take AeroVironment public, he had finally sorted out his finances, was now ready to make a difference, “and now this.” It was the first time I had really heard him frustrated (other than at the current Administration and state of the world). There was still too much to do, and he felt it was all unfinished. “What can we do to get people to understand the population problem?” were his last words to me.

How quickly things can change… Just last Easter, Paul and Judy joined us for two weeks at our passionate minds salon in France. What a wonderful time we all had together, exploring France and having wonderful and lively discussions with so many delightful people. There were no clouds on the horizon. Everything was before him, and he was taking delight in all that was about, especially the medieval French villages and the prehistoric cave drawings. He was relaxed and happy. Judy and Paul had a wonderful time together. Only after his arrival home did he discover that he had terminal cancer. Luckily, he went in a peaceful way. The last few weeks he rested at home with Judy and his family. I know that he was very grateful for all the good wishes that everyone sent in the past few weeks.

Of course, his wife Judy and the family are very sad. Judy and Paul have been married for over 50 years. Judy is holding up the best that she can, but she and the family have had the past few months to adjust to what was happening.

On August 26th, 2007, I lost my best and dearest friend for twenty-six years. Yet, far more important, the world lost today one of its very best.

Paul’s favorite mantra was “Doing More with Less.” Yet, the World really needs more people like Paul, not less.

Any condolences to the MacCready family can be sent to:

600 Hillside Terrace
Pasadena, CA 91104

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be given to charity that benefit future generations.

Please find below some pictures that we took of Paul on our trip to France last Easter, and one of my favorite home photos, that I took almost twenty years ago.