As Thomas Pogge has noted in his recent biography John Rawls: His Life and Theory of Justice,
Rawls was especially sensitive to issues of luck because of a sad
occurrence in his own life. Two of his brothers died in childhood
because they had contracted fatal illnesses from him. Pogge calls the
loss of the brothers the “most important events in Jack’s childhood.”
In 1928, the 7-year-old Rawls contracted diphtheria. His brother Bobby,
younger by 20 months, visited him in his room and was fatally infected.
The next winter, Rawls contracted pneumonia. Another younger brother,
Tommy, caught the illness from him and died.
That’s from libertarian David Gordon, whom I suspect has never infected anybody. The hat tip goes to Will Wilkinson, who in his post describes himself as a "neo-sentimentalist." I can just imagine Kerry (his girlfriend) saying to Will on their third date: "Oh, Will, you’re such a neo-sentimentalist!"