Being an interesting person himself, Lou has some interesting acquaintances. They legitimately include the notable people below, some of whom he's only briefly met, some of whom he knows quite well, and two of whom he helped make famous:
How Lou got to know these interesting people:
Lou met Bill Gates at a black-tie party held at Microsoft in 1990. It was a great party, but not much of a meeting, and Lou isn't 100% sure he was introduced or got to shake Bill's hand. The two men were definitely not more than six or seven feet apart, though. Lou knows these other people a lot better than he knows Bill Gates:
Steve Case knew of Lou Sander before anybody ever knew of Steve Case. They met in the late 1980s, when Steve approached Lou at a Commodore users' meeting in Philadelphia. Commodore computers were the biggest selling computers of the day, and Lou's columns in RUN and Commodore magazines made him probably the world's best-known writer on Commodore subjects. Steve asked Lou to be an online personality on QuantumLink, a Commodore-oriented online service that Steve was heading up. Lou accepted, and the online exposure made him even more famous than he was. Several years later, QuantumLink shut down when Commodore went out of business. After a short absence, it reappeared as America Online.
Godfrey Hounsfield won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1979, for his work in inventing the CAT scanner. In 1976, Lou was working for EMI Medical, the company that had sponsored Hounsfield's work. One day Lou and Godfrey were at an EMI event of some sort; Lou visited Godfrey's hotel room to thank him for inventing the scanner.
Herbert A. Simon won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1978. When Lou was working on his MBA at the University of Chicago, Simon was one of his idols. Sometime during the 1980s, Lou sat next to Herb at a University of Chicago alumni luncheon. They had an interesting conversation, including a minor argument that was not won by the more famous man of the two.
Lou doesn't really know Tim McVeigh, but in a way, Lou was the first person to bring him to the attention of the world. Lou published one of Tim's Commodore computer tips in 1985, when Tim was a computer-infatuated high school kid and Lou was the editor of a very popular column of user-submitted computer tips. The exposure might have gone to Tim's head, because ten years later, he became even more famous by bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more.
Here's Tim's tip, as published in RUN Magazine's 1986 Special Issue:
Of all the people on this page, Lou was closest to Joseph R. Charnetski, now deceased. Joe was a frequent contributor to Lou's column in RUN magazine, and his work was absolutely spectacular. Lou corresponded regularly with him, and couldn't help noticing his unusual return address. Lou investigated, and sure enough, it was a box at the State Correctional Institution in Dallas, Pennsylvania. Lou decided to speak with Joe on the telephone, but he called the warden first, just to learn more about the prisoner. "I want to be sure he isn't some sort of ax murderer," said Lou. "More like a sledge hammer murderer," the warden replied.
It seems that one night Joe had had an argument with his wife, and he hit her in the head with a hammer, snuffing out her life. A contrite husband and a model prisoner, Joe was released after serving ten years of a 10-20 year sentence. Lou and he spoke many times on the telephone, and in 1993 Lou visited Joe at his home in Scranton.
Lou got to know radiologist Dr. Roger Kay through their mutual interest in CAT scanners. At one year's RSNA, Lou, Roger, and Mrs. Kay had dinner together at Chicago's Ritz Carlton Hotel. At the time, it was the most elegant dinner that Lou had ever had, and probably the most expensive. Years later, Dr. Kay was involved in a scheme to sell stolen x-ray film to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania. When another physician was about to blow the whistle, Roger hired a hit man to shut him up. The hit man was an FBI informer, and Dr. Kay ended up in prison.