by the accounts i have read, claude shannon was very well liked by those who knew him: he was warm, cultured, and, despite his great intellect, unpretentious. one of my favorite shannon anecdotes was written by m. m. botvinnik, the 6th world chess champion, who later became highly involved in computer chess. the two had dinner together at a restaurant, where they played a friendly game of chess. "shannon played..." botvinnik wrote, "about was well as modern digital computers!" (of course, this was well before the days of deep blue :-)
i wonder if prices on some of his works will go up even more now. :-(
on an unrelated note, thank you very much, everyone, for the certifications.