October 28, 2006
By Robert Townsend
The Association mourns the loss of Lawrence Levine, a great friend, teacher, and colleague, who died earlier this week after a yearlong battle with cancer.
His stature in the profession was marked by many of the field’s highest distinctions—a MacArthur “genius” fellowship, distinguished professorships at the University of California at Berkeley and George Mason University, the AHA’s Award for Scholarly Distinction and election to the AHA Council, and the presidency of the Organization of American Historians. Many in the discipline will only know him through his path-breaking works on race and culture, including Black Culture, Black Consciousness, Highbrow/Lowbrow, and The Unpredictable Past, but he was also an exceptional teacher. He could command a large class with his energy and wit, but was unstintingly generous to individual students, as well. And as a professional colleague, he was notable for bringing the same deep commitment and analytical force to any issue where he saw a problem to be addressed or a wrong to set right.
There will be a more extensive obituary for him in a future issue of Perspectives, but for now, we extend our condolences to his family, and share in their sorrow.