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Conservative intellectual icon Thomas Sowell retires his pen

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One the intellectual greats of the conservative movement has announced that he is retiring from his influential column. Thomas Sowell said farewell in this final column Tuesday:

Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.

Apparently the election of 2016 finally did him in:

During a stay in Yosemite National Park last May, taking photos with a couple of my buddies, there were four consecutive days without seeing a newspaper or a television news program — and it felt wonderful. With the political news being so awful this year, it felt especially wonderful.

This made me decide to spend less time following politics and more time on my photography, adding more pictures to my website (www.tsowell.com).

A former Marine who served during the Korean War, Sowell received a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Chicago and became a student of Milton Friedman, furthering the cause of freedom and liberty after Friedman's passing.

Sowell was called "America's Greatest Public Intellectual" by Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard, adding:

He wrote with sparkling clarity. He relied on facts. He didn't showcase his scholarship, but his range of subjects was impressive. He understood his readers and didn't write down to them. He was prolific. He wrote two columns a week and, when he had more to say, sometimes three or four. Best of all, he analyzed things from conservative—and somewhat libertarian—perspective better than anyone else and in fewer words.

Here's a video of one of his more celebrated debates with left-wing icon Frances Fox Piven, with Milton Friedman providing cover fire:

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