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Tribute to Alfred Kahn 1917-2010 Open Access

For an upcoming 3-day weekend, my 17-year old son and I won’t think twice about hopping on a flight to visit family in Massachusetts. When I was my son’s age, such an excursion would have been an unthinkable luxury; air travel was reserved for businessmen or the wealthy. Alfred Kahn, the person arguably most responsible for the $100 round trip fare that will make our weekend jaunt possible, died last week at the age of 93. I had the honor of interviewing Professor Kahn last summer in his offices in Ithaca, New York. He was charming and witty, with a sharp mind and clear memory of the people and events that led to the successful deregulation of airlines (in which he was instrumental as chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board), as well as telecommunications and electricity (which he helped initiate as chairman of the New York Public Service Commission).

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