Like him or loathe him, his place in history is secure. And his decision to resign as SNP leader and First Minister can only enhance the lustre which will be associated with his career. Against all the odds, he led his party to outright victory in a Scottish General Election, a task thought to be impossible. And then he fought a glorious if unsuccessful campaign for independence, a campaign that panicked Westminster and aroused the Scottish community to unheard-of heights of political participation.
It is at times like these that we should remember that politicians are only human. The daily struggles inflict a severe toll. Mr Salmond deserves some time to himself. A time to reflect, a time to enjoy life.
If all political careers end in failure, Mr Salmond may content himself with the thought that at least he had a damn good try at success.