GILLES d'Aymery

  • "dear jan: i met gilles many moons ago - his wonderful mind..."
  • "From remote good times shared in Mexico, France and..."
    - Bertrand Dufieux
  • "Gilles was an epic person. His impact will be long..."
    - David Saslav
  • "Our condolences goes to the loss of your dear love one..."
  • "Gilles will be remembered a generation from now for his..."


Gilles d'Aymery, 64, died peacefully on May 9 at his home in San Francisco after a lengthy illness. Aymery was born in France and educated at the Universities of Economics & Law of Toulouse and Paris, and at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. He began his career in the international oil and gas industry, moved to the U.S. in 1982 where he eventually became a computer consultant to small businesses, and in 1996 he changed course to pursue his true passion: writing, launching the Web magazine Swans Commentary, where he was publisher, co- editor, essayist, and political commentator. Aymery was a long-time advocate of policies that promote cooperation, equal allocation and sharing of created wealth entailing redistribution of revenues, collective decision-making on the control of resources, and underconsumptionism to mitigate growing human-made ecological mayhem. As a contrarian by nature and a secular humanist by affinity, he was never a member of or affiliated with a political party, and never embraced any ideological chapel. His socioeconomic stance landed him in the socialist libertarian corner, and he was profoundly antiwar. His work included endless correspondence with the political and literary hodgepodge, assiduous reading, and researching that resulted in over 400 essays and articles that can be read at Swans condemned the commercialization of the Web and refused advertising, instead relying on the contribution of readers to support publishing costs. Aymery is survived by his wife, Jan Baughman, their beloved pets, and her family; mother Anne and brothers Patrick and Marc-Antoine of France and their families; and numerous friends, writers, and readers who will miss his brilliant mind, irreverent humor, revealing insights, sharp analysis, and willingness to challenge conventional wisdom, while promoting poetry, music, arts, and culture. Private remembrances will be held in the U.S. and France. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Published in The New York Times on May 17, 2015