Randi is old, he's lived 81 years already, but he is very sharp and has long applied his skeptical mind to the defense of the gullible by exposing people who would like nothing more than to mislead and take advantage of them. There is no more honorable reason to kill sacred cows than that. By dismantling contemporary claims of supernatural events, he does a great service to science and rationality. And he's a cute old man! He looks more huggable than Santa Claus. Meanwhile, other notable skeptics like Dawkins, Hitchens, or Dennett look decisively less huggable (okay, Dennett has a fuzzy white beard too). But then I also like Randi because he seems so down to earth, like the neighbor you bump into at the post office occasionally.
But what I really love about Randi is that he highlights how easily it is for us to decieve ourselves. Self-deception goes beyond allowing myself to be duped into following a religious cult, it goes to the heart of a lot of personal self management problems that have nothing to do with religion. He's an expert at deception and entertaining with valuable first hand knowledge of how it happens. I think this uniquely qualifies him in a different way than other experts in areas such as science, journalism, or philosophy (though these are not without their own value). He's very personable, in fact inspirational as an exemplar of humanitarian values, and has been featured on the popular science blog Pharyngula several times recently. I may add that for many of the same reasons I like Randi, I also like Martin Gardner, who at 95 died about a month ago.
To long time readers of my blog, James Randi is already a familiar name. When late last year he expressed skepticism over climate change, it was troubling news to many of his fans and supporters. But I say lesson learned, defer to the appropriate experts when forming an opinion outside of your field of expertise.