Alberto Alesina, born in Italy in 1957, was the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University. He served as Chairman of the Department of Economics from 2003 - 2006. He obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1986. He was also a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Center for Economic Policy Research. He was a member of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Few economists have had the gigantic impact on our discipline that Alberto Alesina had. Quite a few economists write great and important papers. Only a few write path-breaking and field-changing ones. And only a handful establish new fields. Alberto, the founder of the modern political economy, did just that. Alberto’s reach was boundless. Taking a genuinely interdisciplinary approach that combined economics with political science, sociology, history, and even cultural anthropology, he transformed economics for the better. He also had a profound impact on political science, paving the way for both more game-theoretic approaches and sound empirical research.