It is strange that Charles W. Eliot, William Torrey Harris, and Nicholas Murray Butler are so little remembered. For a generation their counsels dominated American education, yet few histories of education give them more than passing notice. Eliot does receive some attention as father of the elective principle, and Harris enjoys at least a dubious reputation as high priest of conservative idealism. Butler, if mentioned at all, appears as Harris's acolyte and is variously described as a classical humanist, an intellectualist, and an idealist with faintly liberal tendencies. It has been his misfortune to be cast in the role of educational philosopher, the role to which he aspired, but to which he could bring the least talent. Butler was an independent thinker, but not a creative one, a man of action, not of contemplation. Comparing him with Harris is like comparing Alexander with Aristotle. “Nicholas Miraculous” was, in truth, that rare combination of insights, practicality, and force that makes a philosopher king. Never content to contemplate ends, his vast energies were concentrated on means. He fathered organizations, not ideas.