This is probably not someone readers would expect me to honor, but way back when I was 19 my first college internship was working for Michael Novak at AEI. Mr. Novak was a friend of my dad's, and I always secretly wonder if my dad saw that I was migrating away from traditional Conservatism and thought some time with Mr. Novak would head this off.
I ended up going in a different direction from Mr. Novak, but I had an enjoyable summer working with him. I spent most of my time in the Georgetown University library researching papal encyclicals and commentary on them. For someone who grew up around much more fundamentalist religions in the South, the more overt intellectualism of Catholic writing was fascinating. I learned a lot, and Mr. Novak was as kind and generous as someone could possibly be. He did a lot to defend capitalism in a world where it was increasingly questioned, and even if I have very different epistemology than he, I thank him for his work.