I met Sam Albert early in my career as an industry analyst. IBM was too big and mysterious for any outsider to ever fathom completely, but Sam was Mr. IBM and he could always find the person or the answer I needed. Once, I was very cross at IBM for frowning on my independent comments, and I insisted on my right to be different. Sam respected that but lured me back into the fold: not with a bribe, but by appealing to my curiosity and my desire to make sure things were done right. He did so by telling me he had a project in trouble that only I could help. Sure enough, by the time we had things sorted out, whatever I was annoyed about was long forgotten, and I suspect he had known, all along, that it would turn out that way. — Amy Wohl

We will always remember Sam's lively enthusiasm and boundless energy. And we will always remember the happy times we spent exploring the delightful varieties of local dining with Joice and Sam. Sam greatly enjoyed the art movies shown at our local film club and happily participated in the many lively discussions after the film. With so many vivid memories, it is hard to believe Sam is no longer with us. We will surely always remember him and always miss him — Barbara & Bill Scher

"Be the best you can be" That's what Sam always encouraged me to strive for. And we all know Sam was the best at what he did. When Sam got an idea or set his mind on achieving something ,he made it happen. He knew how to work the process when he was at IBM and when he left, he knew how to use it from the outside. He was a visionary when it came to understanding the strategic nature of the consulting business and the role that services would play in the future of IBM. He took joy at helping people be successful. I am grateful that I was fortunate to have worked with Sam and gain some of his values. Sam we all miss you and will not forget you. — Don Dashefsky

Sam and I were in the same class at American University (class of 1954). In fact, Sam was President of the class all four years. I remember Sam's positive attitude, his love of tennis and his good nature. Sam was always a good friend to me. When I was manager of our campus radio station, he came to me with an idea. He wanted to do a radio program where he would invite college professors to give reviews of their classes on the air. I didn't think it would be very popular, but I was wrong! It turned out to be one of the most popular programs on the station. Many times I was the person who ran the tapes. The program was called "Cram with Sam". It was a big hit. Later, after we were out of college, Sam kept in touch with me and he was helpful in acquiring "Talking Technology" for my computer. He was a good man, and will be missed. — Ed Walker

We loved seeing Sam at PC Forum year after year, but our relationship goes well beyond that. Sam and I first met at some IBM analyst event — the kind Sam always orchestrated with such diligence and wisdom. Although he wished nothing but well for IBM, he was also smart and humble enough to recognize its failings and try to overcome them. He transcended any sort of organizational boundaries, and he wished only the best for everyone he knew. His discretion and wisdom gave him the ability to know everything and to use that knowledge quietly in the service of people who couldn't or wouldn't do so for themselves. We all miss him! — Esther Dyson

My relationship with Sam Albert has been one of the highlights of my career. When my company was founded, I was a two-man shop. No one would take us seriously. Sam took me under his wing and began to include us in IBM's briefings and meetings. His kindness, understanding, and professional help encouraged me to keep moving forward. He helped me understand IBM's organization, its people, and it products. But most of all, he was a senior executive at the most prestigious firm, who was kind to a kid with no credentials or standing. Sam never stopped being a friend. I feel lucky and privileged to have known and worked with him. — George Colony

Over the years, as my career as a writer grew, Sam was the friend who was always there for me. No matter what I was doing, Sam was upbeat, optimistic, and knew someone who could help me. Every time I published a new book, I would send a copy to Sam, who would then call me on the phone, full of good wishes and enthusiasm. He was as proud of my success as if it were his own. But Sam was more than a mentor: he was a master in the art of getting along with people. To this day, whenever I meet a new person, I apply the lessons I learned from watching Sam, and I am able to establish rapport and make the person feel at ease. Every time I do, I can hear Sam's voice and feel his smile. — Harley Hahn

I first met Sam over 40 years ago when he was assigned to me as an Assistant Salesman at the New York Midtown Office of IBM. He was brilliant and personable. He was a unique individual, comfortable with the meek and the mighty. We became friends. That never changed. Life was good to Sam. I was thrilled by his dazzling late career success. Yet I remember him more for what he was than what he achieved. He was Sam. He was a unique bundle of talent. He had heart to accompany his brilliance and enthusiasm. He remained true to himself: unchanged. — Harry Bernhard

Read the thoughts and memories of these people close to Sam:

Read a short essay by Harley Hahn...

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