According to DMNews, Orson Swindle is stepping down from his position as a commissioner of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. A Republican appointee, Swindle has been a leading force in anti-spam, anti-malware, Internet privacy, and other cutting-edge Internet consumer issues.

While some may not have always agreed with Commissioner Swindle when he occasionally balked at stronger consumer protection measures, there is no doubt that during his tenure at the FTC, his gentle yet firm — and occasionally forceful — guidance more often than not helped common sense and reason get a fair airing at the agency. His “kindly grandfather” appearance always belied his quiet power, his raucous sense of humor, and the astonishing heroism that has marked his life.

I count myself lucky to have been there the day he broke up a potential fist-fight at an anti-spam workshop, an incident that will go down in the annals of Washington lore. But it was just another day in the remarkable life of this outstanding public servant. I know I join many in wishing him the best in whatever life has in store for him next.