The 'Pioneers and Influencers' project at Organometallics is aimed at highlighting the careers and contributions of those who have made significant contributions to this subdiscipline. Professor Alan H. Cowley of the University of Texas, Austin, was an unsung member of the chemistry community, and he was one of the driving forces, particularly in the United States, behind the modern renaissance of main-group organometallic chemistry. His doctoral work in inorganic chemistry was carried out under the supervision of Professor Fred Fairbrother and focused on niobium and tantalum halides. A recurring theme across Alan’s career was his ability to bring his encyclopedic knowledge of the literature to bear on unrelated topics. His innovative ability to quickly extend ideas and ‘see farther’ than others was also legendary, as was his interest in examining chemistry problems.