Neil Leonard, Penn jazz historian, dies at 84

Historians in the News

Neil Leonard, 84, a pioneering jazz historian and critic and a retired professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, died Sunday, Oct. 13, at Hahnemann University Hospital after a stroke. A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23, at Penn.

Mr. Leonard's doctoral thesis, Jazz and the White Americans: The Acceptance of a New Art Form, became a groundbreaking book on cultural awareness of jazz. It was published in 1962 by the University of Chicago Press.

He was on the faculty at Penn from 1961 until 1990s. He worked in the American civilization department and later in the history department....

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