Nelson Polsby knew everything there was to know about American politics. He also loved every aspect of American politics—Congress, that roundly despised institution, above all—communicating that love to his students and friends. He could have a sharp tongue—if you asked a question he considered foolish or ignorant, he’d let you know—but he was, somehow, immensely and endlessly sweet. Generous with his time. Companionable. The best of listeners and the most fascinating of conversationalists. Brilliant and earthy, a genius and a big warm bear. And, as John Pod notes below, very often simply hilarious.