Samuel P. Huntington of Harvard Dies at 81

Historians in the News

Samuel P. Huntington - a longtime Harvard University professor, an influential political scientist, and mentor to a generation of scholars in widely divergent fields - died Dec. 24 on Martha's Vineyard. He was 81.

Huntington had retired from active teaching in 2007, following 58 years of scholarly service at Harvard. In a retirement letter to the President of Harvard, he wrote, in part,"It is difficult for me to imagine a more rewarding or enjoyable career than teaching here, particularly teaching undergraduates. I have valued every one of the years since 1949."

Huntington, the father of two grown sons, lived in Boston and on Martha's Vineyard. He was the author, co-author, or editor of 17 books and over 90 scholarly articles. His principal areas of research and teaching were American government, democratization, military politics, strategy, and civil-military relations, comparative politics, and political development.

"Sam was the kind of scholar that made Harvard a great university," said Huntington's friend of nearly six decades, economist Henry Rosovsky, who is Harvard's Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Emeritus."People all over the world studied and debated his ideas. I believe that he was clearly one of the most influential political scientists of the last 50 years."

"Every one of his books had an impact," said Rosovsky."These have all become part of our vocabulary."...

Related Links

  • Reuters Obit.

  • Robert Kaplan profile from 2001

  • NYT blog obit

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