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HomeEconomyIn Memoriam: Walter LeCroy

In Memoriam: Walter LeCroy

Walter LeCroy was born in Alabama in 1935, and educated at the University of Alabama and Columbia University, receiving a BA in physics in 1956 from Columbia College. He pursued graduate study in physics at Columbia, and became chief electronics engineer at Columbia’s Nevis Laboratories in Irvington, New York.

In 1964 he left Nevis to form the LeCroy Corporation, which specialized in the design and development of electronic instrumentation based on these techniques. The company grew from very small beginnings to become a worldwide leader in particle physics instrumentation, displacing several larger companies in this field.

The company continued to grow, and in 1995 went public, offering its shares on the NASDAQ. Today, LeCroy Corporation is the acknowledged leader in high-speed digital oscilloscopes, which are vital in the design of fast computer communication systems. In 2012, the company was acquired by TeledyneTechnologies to form Teledyne-LeCroy.

Mr. LeCroy was instrumental in introducing a Young Astronauts program to elementary schools. The program engages teachers and students in math and science through the study of space exploration. He was President of the Board of the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center in Nyack, NY for many years, serving with Helen Hayes until her death in 1993.

Mr. LeCroy was active in classical liberal causes for many decades. He served on the board of the Foundation for Economic Education for many years, and one year as its Chairman. In 2005, he co-founded the Bastiat Society, an organization committed to advancing free trade, individual freedom, and responsible governance. The Bastiat Society grew to over 28 chapters before joining the American Institute for Economic Research in 2017 and has continued to grow since.  

Brad Devos, Director of Programs at AIER, offered his thoughts on Walter LeCroy and the important legacy he left for both his family and friends at the American Institute for Economic Research, especially those who worked closely with the Bastiat Society that he co-founded.  

“After spending much of his life fighting for liberty and defending freedom, Walter passed peacefully in his sleep. Walter touched many lives, was a mentor of mine, and will be missed.”

Soon after Walter and his wife Dori relocated from New York to Charleston in the early 2000s, they were introduced to Ben Rast through a mutual friend, John Blundell. The trio quickly decided to host a symposium exploring globalization and began meeting regularly in Walter’s loft apartment – and it was there that the Bastiat Society was born.

These early meetings included speakers like John Stossel, Nick Gillespie, Russ Roberts, Gov. Gary Johnson, Richard Epstein, John Blundell, Peter Boettke, Virginia Postrel, John Allison, Larry Reed, and many, many more.

In 2011, Walter and Ben encouraged me to spread the Bastiat Society model to other places. Today the Society operates in over 35 cities, has held over 1300 events, and has welcomed more than 26,000 people to our programs. The Bastiat Society is just a small part of his legacy.”