In Remembrance: James L. Buckley ’44, ’49LLB Died on August 18 2023

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The Hon. James L. Buckley passed away on August 18 in Washington, DC. He was 100 years old. He was a member of the storied Buckley family (of which his younger brother William F. Buckley Jr. ’50 was perhaps most prominent, along with WFB’s son, writer and satirist Christopher Buckley ’75). And his political and public service career was well documented—from his time in the US Senate, to his leadership of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, to his appointment as a federal judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

There were lengthy obituaries published in the New York Times and the Washington Post, among other papers, and we do not need to reiterate his life story here. But what those newspapers didn’t describe was Mr. Buckley’s devotion to Yale, his Yale class, and this magazine. In 2018, at the age of 95, Mr. Buckley took on the writing of his class notes column, tasked with reporting on the few extant members of the class of 1944. He waved it off as an act of insignificance, since “at our age, a class secretary has virtually nothing to do.” But in his first column, he urged his remaining classmates to update their email addresses with the AYA so they can remain in touch. And he continued to write columns, most dominated by the inevitable classmate obituaries, for the next five years. We are indebted to Mr. Buckley for his service. 

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