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Chris Tame, RIP

I just received a phone call from Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance. Sean tells me that my pal, Chris Tame, passed away at 3:37 pm, London time. Having battled cancer these many months, Chris's passing was, as Sean describes it, peaceful.

I'm very sad to hear this news, and I extend my deepest condolences to his friends and family. I was fortunate enough to speak with Chris last week; it was a "goodbye" phone call, as he knew the end was near. I will miss his almost daily "Ayn Rand Watch" postings, his warped sense of humor, and, most of all, the intellectual engagement. But I know that his legacy will live on.

A press release will follow from Sean very soon.

Update #1 (21 March 2006): I received the following from Sean Gabb:

It is with the deepest regret that I must announce the death of Dr. Chris R. Tame, Founder and President of the Libertarian Alliance. Chris founded the Libertarian Alliance in the early 1970s. During the next 30 years, he worked tirelessly to recover the British libertarian tradition as a seamless heritage of freedom. He took issue with those Conservatives who saw freedom in terms purely of pounds and pence—and often not even as that. He took issue also with those who demanded freedom in all matters but those involving the getting and spending of money. He believed that freedom should be defined in the traditional English sense, as the rights to life, liberty and justly acquired property.

In July 2005, Chris was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of bone cancer. Though only 55 at the time, and though he had avoided all those vices commonly believed to be dangerous, he took this diagnosis with great calmness. During the next eight months, he faced his approaching end with a fortitude and good humour that was an inspiration to those around him.

To the very end, he retained a keen interest in public affairs and in the welfare of his friends and loved ones. On his last day, he made sure to check his e-mails.

Chris died peacefully in his sleep at 3:37pm GMT on Monday the 20th March 2006. He was never alone during his last six days. Mrs. Helen Evans and Dr. Sean Gabb were by his side at the end.

Chris was married and divorced twice. He left no children.

Dr. Gabb will make a further announcement in the next few days of the funeral arrangments. In the meantime, all further correspondence should be directed to him. [Write to Sean here.]

Chris leaves the Libertarian Alliance in the hands of Dr. Timothy Evans and Dr. Sean Gabb, who as President and Director, hope to carry on its work through the first decades of the 21st century.

Update #2 (23 March 2006): Sean Gabb has published an Obituary for Chris Tame here and here.

Update #3 (28 March 2006): This is another update from Sean Gabb, with regard to funeral services for Chris Tame:

The funeral of Dr. Chris R. Tame will take place on Saturday the 1st April 2006 at 11:00am at the Chichester Crematorium in Sussex.

The service will be open to all—though for those unable to make this Saturday, there will be a memorial service at the National Liberal Club in London this coming November.

The Address of the Crematorium is:

The Crematorium Company
Westhampnett Road
West Sussex PO19 4UH
Tel 01243 787755 Fax 01243 536267

One chapel with seating for 65

Facilities for disabled: Ramps, Toilet, Wheelchair
Manager: Nigel Emberson

See the pdf map here.

Those who wish to send flowers are advised to do so via The Posy Bowl on 01730 812 077.

Sean Gabb

Chris Tame: 1949-2006

Comments welcome. Cross-posted to L&P.


Sorry to hear about his passing, Chris.

This is indeed sad news, though I too am sure that "his legacy will live on". I met Chris Tame only once, but he exerted an influence on me through his writings for the LA and in other publications, and this body of work remains with us.


My deepest condolences for your loss.

Hang in there.

About three months ago I had an email exchange with Chris Tame, and it was then that I learned about his aggressive form of bone cancer. He talked about it frankly with grace and courage. He said that he would fight as best he could. Yet, he also knew that the odds were against him.
Let no one say that there are not heroes among us.

Thanks to everyone for posting here. And, amen, Doug!

I have to say that the last few months have been rather remarkable in terms of the level of personal loss that I've experienced. Sean Gabb told me in our phone conversation that he was a typical Brit---keeping that stiff upper lip, and so forth. Alas, I am a typical Brooklynite of half-Sicilian and half-Greek ancestry... we wear our hearts on our sleeves, and our shirts, and our pants, and our briefs, and our socks, and our shoes!

I find that the best way to "work through" grief is to grieve. The ol' Branden adage---"feel deeply, to think clearly"---works wonders in my life.

In terms of personal losses, something on an even greater scale happened in 2001-2002, from 9/11 onward. But the last few months have seen the passing of Joan Kennedy Taylor, Bill Bradford, and, now, Chris Tame. All personal friends. And when you add in the loss of my dog Blondie, all I can say is: It's been tough.

But I really do count my blessings. I focus on the presence of my memories, not on the absence of people or pets. I focus on the love I receive and the love I give... to a magnificent family, to wonderful, dear friends, and to a truly significant other.

So, thanks again, for all the good words here... and to all those who sent personal notes too. I know that Chris Tame would have been very touched.

I knew Chris in the days of the Alternative Bookshop. He was a most engaging and charming person.
Although I had not seen him for a while I will miss him.

I just thought I should note that Dr. Sean Gabb has posted links to all the published obituaries for Chris Tame. See here.

The next issue of JARS will be dedicated to the memory of Bill Bradford, Joan Kennedy Taylor, and Chris Tame.