As James Randi so magnificently wrote: “My World is a little darker… Martin Gardner has died.” James knew Martin personally; I only dearly wish I did…
I became aware of Martin Gardner when I was a brand new Mathematics teacher at Irymple Technical School in 1974. I quickly befriended the Physics teacher and it was he who showed me some of Martin’s books. Those which I still have are Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions, More Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions and The Annotated Alice. I have read these books many, many times over the years.
I would now credit Martin as being the main character in giving me my attitude to mathematics – in that it is my favourite hobby and has been since the mid 70’s.
I’m pleased he lived as long as he did. It still pains me that he is no more. He will live on through his prolific published works and I will treasure what he gave me – and he didn’t even know me. This last sentiment reminds me of how many times over the years I have yearned to meet him – ah well, I’m still so very grateful.