In memoriam

Recent faculty and alumni obituaries.

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Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph died December 23 and January 16, respectively, in Oakland, California. Susanne, the William Benton Distinguished Service Professor Emerita of Political Science, was 85. Her husband and colleague, a professor emeritus of political science, was 88. Influential scholars of India, the Rudolphs taught at UChicago from 1964 to 2002. In 2014 the couple received India’s third-highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan, in recognition of their scholarly contributions.

Asha Sarangi, PhD’02 (Political Science), a political scientist at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, offers a remembrance:

Lloyd and Susanne Rudolph could be ideally described as a contrapuntal couple, not just in the life that they lived together but also in the manner they departed for their afterlife.

They were towering global figures both in political science and in South Asian studies. Economist J. K. Galbraith once described them as “the most accomplished scholars” on contemporary India in the United States. As reflexive political scientists, they were erudite scholars, prolific writers, and extraordinary intellectuals whose works have marked paradigmatic shifts both methodologically and thematically in the study of Indian society and politics over the last six decades. Together they wrote more than a dozen books and 150 articles, including their iconic works Modernity of Tradition (University of Chicago Press, 1967), In Pursuit of Lakshmi (University of Chicago Press, 1987), and Reversing the Gaze (Oxford University Press, 2011). They supervised around 200 PhDs, taught courses on a variety of themes, and nurtured and guided generations of scholars.

As honest, sincere, dedicated researchers, they spent every fourth year in India, taking 11 yearlong research trips before they retired in 2002. Even after retirement, they continued to visit for three months each year until 2011.

To read notes from the Rudolphs’ 1956 journey driving from Austria to India to begin their life’s work, see mag.uchicago.edu/rudolphs.—Ed.

Raymond T. Smith, professor emeritus of anthropology, died October 1 at age 90. After earning his doctorate at Cambridge, he taught at the University of the West Indies; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Ghana; and McGill University before joining the University of Chicago in 1966. A kinship expert, Smith studied family organization in the Caribbean and the Americas through the lens of class, race, poverty, and gender. He retired from the University in 1995.

Richard G. Hewlett, AM’48, PhD’52 (History), died September 1 in Bethesda, Maryland. He was 92. Hewlett was the chief historian of the US Atomic Energy Commission and its successor agencies from 1957 to 1980, cowriting three books on their history, including Nuclear Navy, 1946–1962 (University of Chicago Press, 1974). After retiring, he cofounded the History Associates—a historical research company—and wrote a biography of the philanthropist Jessie Ball duPont.

George A. “Tad” Mindeman, AM’77 (History), died October 20 at age 61. Mindeman spent most of his career directing libraries in Christian colleges and universities, most recently at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. A lifelong baseball fan, he umpired youth baseball games for more than 20 years and also played clarinet in local orchestras and ensembles.

Walter L. Wallace, PhD’63 (Sociology), a professor of sociology at Princeton, died September 18. He was 88. Focusing on education and ethnicity, race, and nationality, Wallace taught at Spelman College and Northwestern before joining Princeton’s faculty in 1971, where he advised Michelle Obama, then Robinson, on her senior thesis. In the 1960s he wrote influential pieces on peer effects on graduate students’ aspirations and student achievement. Later in his career he published books on sociological theory, race and nationalism, and philosophy, including The Future of Ethnicity, Race, and Nationality (Praeger, 1997).

Burton C. Kelly, PhD’66 (Comparative Human Development), died December 31 at age 89. He taught psychology at Illinois State University in Normal before joining the faculty of Brigham Young University, where he worked for 30 years in its counseling center. Kelly also sang in choirs, played the piano and organ, and enjoyed the outdoors.

Charles E. Umbanhowar, AM’64, PhD’70 (Political Science), a retired professor of political science at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, died January 5 at age 75. He taught at Syracuse University and Idaho State University before joining St. Olaf in 1978, where he served as an adviser to prelaw students. His courses focused on American politics, American constitutional law, political philosophy, and international law. In the 1980s he helped write and produce a radio series based on correspondence between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

Syn D. Choi, AM’58, died February 28 in Annapolis, Maryland. She was 95. Choi served as an education adviser at the US Operations Mission to Korea and was director of the sociology department at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. She also served as president of the Korean Sociological Association, received awards from the City of Chicago and the Chicago Korean Community, and was appointed an Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation. 

Rita Weinberg, AM’47, PhD’55 (Psychology), known for her pragmatic approach to psychology, died January 28 at age 91 in Valencia, California. Weinberg ran a private practice focusing on children and families, and in 1976 she joined the faculty of National Louis University in Chicago. She also consulted for the Child Development Center’s Infant Welfare Society with Julius Richmond, who later became US surgeon general and helped develop the Head Start early childhood program. After retiring from National Louis in 2011, Weinberg continued her private practice and cowrote a book about how metaphors shape understanding.

John H. Gagnon, AB’55, PhD’69 (Sociology), died February 11 in Palm Springs, California. He was 84. A sociologist with a focus on sex research, Gagnon worked at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University before joining the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He theorized sexuality was more a social construct than a biological identity, and in the 1980s he worked with NORC at the University of Chicago on an influential, large-scale survey of American sexuality, focusing on respondents’ motivations for and thoughts about sex.

Richard S. Frank, AM’56 (Political Science), editor of the National Journal for two decades, died March 1 in Palm Desert, California. He was 84. Frank was a reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun and chief of staff to Baltimore mayor Theodore McKeldin before joining the journal in 1971. Now online only, the National Journal was a weekly magazine that detailed the inner workings of Washington, DC, and had an audience of high-level politicians, lobbyists, and media personnel. After retiring in 1997, he served as an editor at Boston University’s Washington Journalism Center from 2000 to 2009.

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