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“A Tribute to Jim Gray: Sometimes Nice Guys Do Finish First” (NY Times)

Read the article here.

“‘He was one of the world’s great listeners,’ said Ed Lazowska, a University of Washington computer scientist who in recent years had collaborated with Dr. Gray on a series of projects designed to provide powerful computational tools to scientists. ‘I thought we had a special relationship,’ he said, only to realize that there were 500 special relationships of the same kind.

“Several speakers quoted Jimi Hendrix, who once noted, ‘Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens,’ to try to explain Jim Gray’s special qualities.

“The object lesson taught by Dr. Gray, said Dr. Lazowska, was that while there is nothing you can do about improving your I.Q., it is possible to work at becoming a terrific human being.

“‘Jim was the world’s greatest connector,’ he said. ‘He connected ideas and people and he didn’t understand boundaries, either corporate or national.'”

May 1, 2008