Before the New Atheists went mainstream, it’s arguable that Kurtz did more to spread Humanism and skepticism than anyone else in modern history. If you read books written by Christian apologists prior to the year 2000, their enemy-in-chief wasn’t Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. It was Paul Kurtz. They feared him.

His resume is lengthy, but many of his crowning achievements are still making an impact in our community today. What he helped begin, we are all continuing.

He founded Prometheus Books, the first publishing company to print books exclusively for and about the skeptical world. Some of their books include George H. Smith‘s Atheism: The Case Against God and Victor Stenger‘s God: The Failed Hypothesis (the company’s first New York Times bestseller).

Kurtz founded the (currently-named) Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Center for Inquiry, organizations whose missions focus on spreading skepticism, reason, and Humanism.