John Talbott, retiring after 23 years as editor of this journal, is our idea of a leader. In fact, the testimony of commentaries and letters from many of today's leaders in mental health services indicate that John Talbott is a "leader's leader." He has influenced other leaders with his writing and his deeds. He was an early champion of those who most needed psychiatric services and a concerned observer of deinstitutionalization, who called for asylum, not asylums, and for assistance for those who were homeless, and who urged us to learn the lessons of our research. He organized committees and led the American Psychiatric Association as its president, all the while editing this journal to guide the field.