It is with great sadness that Gathering 4 Gardner notes the loss of the renowned logician, mathemagician, philosopher, chess challenge composer, puzzle master, author, and musician, our friend, Raymond Smullyan, who died Monday, February 6th, at the age of 97. Raymond has been an important member of the G4G family for many years and his death is a significant loss to our community. He will be deeply missed.
Smullyan at G4G
Raymond attended many Gatherings with his wife, Blanche de Grab, where he could often be found playing Bach on the Ritz-Carlton piano. His infectious charm, humor and curiosity were always a delight to behold. At the age of 93, he captivated a G4G evening audience with some standup comedy delivered with his usual casual brilliance.
“Is ‘No’ the correct answer to this question?”
More G4G11 videos of Raymond:
Smullyan the Author
Raymond was a multifaceted man who wrote important books well into his 90s, and he also helped with Jason Rosenhouse’s book, Four Lives: A Celebration of Raymond Smullyan.
Below Rosenhouse talks at G4G11 about Smullyan and discusses a number of his books:
Smullyan and Gardner
Martin Gardner and Raymond were old pals with great respect and admiration for one another. Martin once described Smullyan’s book, What is the Name of This Book? (1978), as “The most original, most profound and most humorous collection of recreational logic and mathematics problems ever written.”
And Raymond said of Martin: “His writings certainly meant a great deal to me! They have inspired the creation of many of my own logic puzzles. I was also greatly influenced by some of his religious writings–particularly by The Flight of Peter Fromm.”
Smullyan Featured Online
Raymond Smullyan Appears on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (1982)
How to Solve the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever (2015)
Read how in 1957 Raymond used logic in an ingenious way to elicit a kiss from his future wife.
Many wonderful tributes to Raymond have published since his death, including:
- New York Times
Raymond Smullyan, Puzzle-Creating Logician, Dies at 97
- New York Times
Large Birds, Hungry Tigers and Other Puzzles
- International Business Times
Mathematician and puzzle-maker Raymond Smullyan dead at 97
- The Guardian
Can you solve it? The mystery of Portia’s caskets