Obituary: Paul Halmos, 1916–2006

  • Heydar Radjavi
  • Peter Rosenthal
Part of the Operator Theory Advances and Applications book series (OT, volume 207)


Paul Halmos, one of the most influential mathematicians of the last half of the twentieth century, died at the age of ninety on October 2, 2006. Paul wrote “To be a mathematician you must love mathematics more than family, religion, money, comfort, pleasure, glory.” Paul did love mathematics. He loved thinking about it, talking about it, giving lectures and writing articles and books. Paul also loved language, almost as much as he loved mathematics. That is why his books and expository articles are so wonderful. Paul took Hardy’s famous dictum that “there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics” very seriously: he reformulated and polished all the mathematics that he wrote and lectured about, and presented it in the most beautiful way.


Operator Theory Algebraic Logic Subnormal Operator Permanent Place Famous Article 
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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heydar Radjavi
    • 1
  • Peter Rosenthal
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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