Archive | Obituary

RIP: King Corcoran

It’s been a while since we’ve run an obit—which, when you think about it, is probably a good thing. But I couldn’t resist posting a link to this morning’s Washington Post remembrance of King Corcoran, “the poor man’s Joe Namath.”

Although we here at the “Monkey Cage” have an extremely broad conception of politics, this item has nothing at all to do with politics. King seems to have been too busy pursuing his other interests to bother about politics.

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Samuel Beer memorial service

I’ve been asked by a member of Samuel Beer’s family to share the details of his memorial services. They are:

Thursday, April 16, 3pm St. Albans, Washington, DC
Tuesday, April 21, 2pm, Bigelow Chapel, Harvard, Cambridge, MA

The Washington Post has an obituary for him today – some extracts below.

Samuel H. Beer, 97, a Harvard University political scientist who specialized in the government and politics of Great Britain and also was a theorist of American federalism, died April 7 at his home in Washington of congestive heart failure. He also had a residence in Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Beer spent about 40 years at Harvard and became chairman of the government department before retiring in 1982. Several of Dr. Beer’s many books were about Britain, including his influential “British Politics in the Collectivist Age” (1965), a study of the ideological evolution of Britain’s three largest political parties.

… Dr. Beer the political theorist occasionally became the political partisan. In 1935 to 1936, he worked on the staff of the Democratic National Committee and occasionally wrote speeches for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He became chairman of the liberal advocacy organization Americans for Democratic Action. In the 1980s, he critiqued the “new federalism” under President Ronald Reagan. He told the New York Times in 1982 that Reagan’s efforts to shift power from Washington to state and local officials seemed an abdication of responsibility for “one of the standard, classic functions of the central government in any system—to do a little evening up among regions.” Called to testify before the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, he told lawmakers that they were obligated to consider the will of the people before taking the grave step of removing a president. By twice electing Clinton, the American people had spoken, Dr. Beer maintained, and Congress had no reason to countermand their judgment.

… He was a police reporter for the New York Post and a writer at Fortune magazine before receiving his doctorate in political science from Harvard in 1943. During World War II, he served as an Army artillery captain and stayed on afterward as part of the U.S. military government in Germany. Returning in 1946 to his teaching duties at Harvard, he developed an approach to comparative government that relied on the interwoven insights of political, social and economic theory. In retirement, he became the first Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Professor of American Politics at Boston College.

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Samuel Beer has died

I haven’t seen any obituaries yet, but will link to them when I do. I didn’t know him personally, but knew his work of course. That he reached a ripe old age doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a great loss.

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Samuel Huntington Dies

Samuel Huntington, political scientist and Harvard professor, died on Wednesday. He taught at Harvard for 58 years and was the author, co-author, or editor of 17 books and 90 scholarly articles. His intellectual breadth was truly amazing. Read more about his personal and intellectual life on Harvard’s website.

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Fiona McGillivray has died

Simon Jackman, who knew her.

NYU political scientist and Rochester PhD Fiona McGillivray passed away this morning after a long struggle with pulmonary hypertension.

Despite her illness, Fiona had a great couple of years on the professional front. Indeed, there was a roundtable at APSA in Boston on Saturday on her most recent book.

Fiona was in the year of students immediately following me in the Rochester PhD program (a 1995 PhD, and if memory serves she entered the program in the Fall of 1989), where she met her husband-to-be, Alastair Smith. Fiona was a very bright light in the tight-knit Rochester PoliSci community back then: her pluck, charm and “a wee-bent” Scottish sense of humor was priceless there in Harkness Hall. Alastair and the kids are very much in our thoughts today.

I thought Neal Beck and Jonathan Katz (and others at NYU, I imagine) did a nice job this morning ensuring friends and colleagues in the profession got the news personally, rather than via something like this blog post.

PH sounds like a bugger of a disease. Alastair suggested donations to the PHA in lieu of flowers etc.

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