Smartest guy in the room

Paul Samuelson truly was the smartest guy in the room – with the exception of the occasional meetings with John von Neumann. From the beginning he enjoyed a reputation as an enfant terrible. The joke was that when he defended his dissertation, one professor on Samuelson’s committee asked him, “Did we pass?” He was no easier on the investors and financiers whose practices he studied.

An excerpt from David Warsh’s excellent essay on the late Paul Samuelson.