Former director of the Minnesota Historical Society Russell W. Fridley died on June 17, 2010. He was director of the Historical Society for thirty years, during a dynamic and formative period of the institution’s history. He had a true commitment to history in all its forms. He believed that popular and scholarly history were compatible and that neither would diminish the other. For Russell Fridley history was a big tent and all kinds of history could exist there. No history of any kind diminished any other kind of history. But he was a supporter of detailed, well-researched, and well-documented history. He supported new ideas when they came along. When someone came to him with a new idea, he was always encouraging. “Why don’t you work on that?” he would ask. That did not always mean that he could find money to support your particular project, uncertainties being what they were. But he was unfailingly curious about what you were doing, what you were researching. When you told him, probably in too much detail, he would respond with a pleasant, humorous, or encouraging comment. He was good with the legislature, in getting money for the historical society, and good with his staff, in getting productive work out of them. He did not believe that Vikings carved the Kensington Runestone, but even supporters of the Runestone liked Russell Fridley. They would invite him to come debate with them. The worst that anyone would say about him was that he was too affable, a fact which would make suspicious people more suspicious. Russell Fridley’s commitment to the work of history in all its forms is greatly missed.