See the Washington Post Obituary
"Who am I? Why am I here?"
It's sad that this significant man is today mostly remembered for these words during a VP debate when he was Ross Perot's running mate rather than for the true achievements of his life.
My primary introduction to James Stockdale came not from Perot but from Jim Collins in his wonderful Good to Great where he talked about The Stockdale Paradox. We briefly mentioned this in our bullet point summary of Good to Great and, primarily, in our earlier comparison of the Stockdale Paradox and the "Flexible Optimism" of Dr. Martin Seligman.
In a nutshell the Stockdale Paradox marries a hard look at the cold realities of the current situation with an absolute commitment that all will work out well in the long run. Stockdale said that the folks that died in POW camp were not those who said, "We'll get out by Christmas" but rather those who said, "We'll get out but I have no clue when."
Admiral Stockdale will be missed.