Sad news. Inspired by his amazing book, Social Stratification in Polynesia, I was spending the summer in Hawaii researching possible dissertation topics and met him while I was at the Bishop museum. We had hamburgers for lunch while he helped me focus my plans for research on Tuvalu. We met several times thereafter and he agreed to anchor the ASAO special publications series I was editing with his scintillatingly smart and widely cited Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities. One of the brightest and most original minds in the history of the discipline and a good friend, he will be missed, especially by those of us who tagged along for a lifetime and benefitted from his genius but did not always agree with him.
For a smart and informative “pre-mortem”review of the impact of some his earlier work on anthropology and history, see Michael Goldsmith’s “The Evolution of Marshall Sahlins” in Texts and Contexts, edited by Doug Munro and Brij V. Lal, University of Hawaii Press 2006: 76-86