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In January of 2011, three years after his 80th birthday, Games and Economic Behavior published a special issue to honor John Nash. In their introductory note, the editors, Avinash Dixit, Ehud Kalai and Stephen Morris wrote: “We are delighted to have the privilege of coordinating this expression of the whole profession's admiration and appreciation of John Nash and his work, and look forward to a repeat in ten or even twenty years' time.”

This wish was sadly interrupted by tragedy. On their way back from the ceremony awarding John the Abel Prize in mathematics, John and his wife Alicia were killed in an automobile accident. The shock and loss to the world was profound. Instead of publishing another special issue in John's honor, this issue is dedicated to his memory.

Most of the papers in this special issue were submitted by scholars from around the world to honor John. In addition, we approached a small number of leading game theorists, mathematicians, economists and others and asked them to answer the question: What did John Nash mean to you?

The comments that follow include tributes to his work as well as personal accounts and touching anecdotes. Even friends and colleagues who knew John well are likely to be surprised. Despite the severe personal hardships that John, Alicia and their family endured, the scope and breath of John's contribution is overwhelming.

John Nash will be greatly missed. His legacy is epic.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication as part of the Introduction to the John Forbes Nash Jr. Memorial Special Issue in Games and Economic Behavior. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Games and Economic Behavior, volume 103, in 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2016.06.011

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