Educator William J. Maxwell dies

Historians in the News

Former Teaneck resident William J. Maxwell, who led Jersey City State College for 18 years, died Sunday. He was 79.

The cause was heart failure, said his son, William Maxwell IV.

Mr. Maxwell, an expert in African-American history, was named president of what is now New Jersey City University in 1974. Under Mr. Maxwell, the school expanded its enrollment beyond its traditional urban base by improving academic standards. He also led the campaign to secure passage of legislation giving New Jersey’s state colleges control over their fiscal management.

The school’s College of Arts and Sciences bears Mr. Maxwell’s name.

William Maxwell was born in Hoboken to a family of longshoremen and worked on the docks before joining the Army. His Korean War experience helped kindle an interest in African-American studies....

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