Fernando and I just came back from the Doctor honoris causa ceremony for Bob Solow. Last year, it was Woody Allen (our first doctor h.c.) I am probably not the most sentimental person on earth, but I found it strangely moving. Jaume Ventura, member of our ITFD steering committee and senior researcher at CREI, gave the eulogy. He was on the MIT faculty when Solow retired; Solow's own speech dwelled on the challenges that most advanced economies face as a result of wage stagnation for the less educated part of the population. Solow is 83 now, and doesn't look a day over 60. Amazingly, his ideas have also retained a freshness that most of us can only dream of.
I also learned something new -- Bob Solow spent WW II as an artillery observer in North Africa and Italy. He may even have been in charge of guiding in shellfire on my grandfather's position on the Cap Bon Peninsula in Tunisia in 1942/43 (my paternal granddad served as an interpreter, and was jolly happy about being taken POW by the Americans. He finished the war in a POW camp in Colorado, digging up potatoes).