I attended Jon’s last IETF meeting, in Chicago, and I’ll never forget the plenary discussion where the hot topic was Jon’s position as Director of IANA (this was back when it mattered – when it played the role currently played by ICANN) and the importance of that position. During the back-and-forth, somebody pointed out that although everybody trusts Jon, the position itself is arguably too powerful, and would we trust everybody who ever held that position.
The reason I’ll never forget the meeting is because of something eerily prescient Vint Cerf (or at least I think it was him) said; “God forbid something to happen should Jon”. Of course, Vint, as a good friend of Jon, knew that he’d been gravely ill in the past, but still. A few weeks later, whammo.
FWIW, I became a big fan of Postel over the approximately two years prior, as I spent a lot time studying his (IMO) greatest gift to the world, the RFC series. In fact, Rohit penned a wonderful tribute to him grounded in the series, including a “Greatest Hits” list; a must read.