#### by David Brillinger

I am one of the many whose careers and lives David Blackwell influenced in important ways.

My first contact with David was in 1958. I bought a copy of the Blackwell and Girshick (1954) book using part of my Putnam Prize money. From that work I learned the decision theory and Bayesian approaches to statistical problems. I also remember liking the group theory material.

My next contact with David came in spring
1961. He telephoned me at Princeton inviting
me to Berkeley. The conversation ended with
“If ever …” I didn’t accept the invitation then
as I had a postdoctoral fellowship to spend the
following year in London, but I did not forget
it. What happened eventually is that I became a
lecturer and then a reader at the London School of
Economics (LSE) for most of the 1960s. I did follow
David’s work, and I did think about Berkeley from
time to time. One thing that I noticed was that
David was typically spoken of with awe both in the
United Kingdom and United States. I particularly
remember that, in the mid-1960s, I went through
David’s 1951 paper “The range of certain vector
integrals” when I was preparing a 1967 *Proceedings
of the AMS* paper, “Bounded polymeasures and
associated translation commutative polynomial
operators”.

During the academic period 1967–1968, I spent
nine months in Berkeley’s Statistics Department
on sabbatical leave from LSE. I found David to be
larger than life, and also I finally met a nonaggressive
Bayesian! Just after that visit he further
helped my career when he communicated my 1969
paper, “An asymptotic representation of the sample
distribution function”, to the *Bulletin of the
AMS*.

I became David’s colleague in January 1970
when I joined the Berkeley faculty. There his collegiality,
teaching, research, power-packed talks,
committee work, treatment of students, and social
conscience were role models for academic behavior.
To mention one personal research example,
his work with
Lester Dubins
that appeared in
the 1983 *Proceedings of the AMS*, “An extension
of Skorokhod’s almost sure representation theorem”,
surely influenced my 1980 work, “Analysis
of variance problems under time series models”,
*Handbook of Statistics 1*. In that paper Skorokhod
representation results allowed formal development
of asymptotic noncentral chi-squared and __\( F \)__
distributions for various time series statistics.

David Blackwell has been there my whole academic life, and his contributions and style remain. It was a privilege to share conversations and experiences with him, for he was a major reason why I came to Berkeley. He helped me out continually when I was department chair.

I wish to end by mentioning that, in an encounter, David seemed always to have a pungent quip to offer. One I remember from the early 1980s is “Ronald Reagan likes strong trade unions — in Poland.”