Alan was one of a kind, a larger-than-life character.
For almost 50 years, he spent most days writing in his office at Eagleton or talking to legislators in state capitols across the country. He loved and respected the messiness of politics and the people who tried to make government work. Alan brought this passion for politics and political people to the Eagleton drawing room where for decades his students learned more about the ways of legislatures and the workings of state government than they could have imagined possible. Through his scholarship, Alan created a new field of study and has had an impact on generations of students and political leaders nationwide. His death is a heartbreaking loss for all of us in the Eagleton family.
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Alan Rosenthal (1932 - 2013)
The Eagleton Institute of Politics reports, with great sadness, the death of Professor Alan Rosenthal on July 10, 2013.
A member of the Rutgers faculty at the Eagleton Institute of Politics from 1966 until his death, Professor Rosenthal served as director of the Institute from 1974-1994. He was a professor in the Department of Political Science and a member of the faculty for the Graduate Programs in Public Policy at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Alan Rosenthal graduated from Harvard College in 1953, and earned M.P.A.(1958) and Ph.D.(1961) degrees from Princeton University.
Author of more than a dozen books and hundreds of chapters, papers, articles and monographs, Professor Rosenthal was the nation's leading scholar of state legislatures, renowned both for studying and teaching about their workings and for consulting in at least 35 states to improve their functioning. He established and directed Eagleton's Center for State Legislative Research and Service, was instrumental in the development of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and worked closely with the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the Council of State Governments. The recipient of many awards for his academic achievement and his public service, Rosenthal was honored with the American Political Science Association's Charles E. Merriam Award, a career achievement award from the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the New Jersey Governor's Award for Public Service.
In New Jersey, Rosenthal took on prominent public service roles, including serving as the tie-breaking member of the New Jersey Redistricting Commission (2011); chairing the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission in both 1992 and 2001; and chairing the New Jersey Legislature’s Joint Committee on Ethical Standards.
Devoted to his students and to building Eagleton's graduate and undergraduate programs, Rosenthal maintained lifelong relationships with many Institute alumni. He shared with them his love of politics and a faith in government as an institution. As a champion of representative democracy, he instilled in them a respect for government service.
All of us will miss Alan's devotion to his students and to government service, his clear-sighted and original thinking, and his inimitable sense of humor.
A resident of Princeton, Alan is survived by his wife, Lynda Kresge, two sons and two daughters by a previous marriage, eight grandchildren, and two stepsons. The family will hold a private service.
Our thoughts are with his family.
Messages may be sent to the family via:
Eagleton Institute of Politics
191 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
The Eagleton Institute will celebrate Alan Rosenthal's career and life at a September 22nd gathering at 1pm at the Nicholas Music Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick. This is a public gathering; all are welcome. Please feel free to circulate this information. Details and RSVP are available here.
Alan Rosenthal Fund for the Study of State Government and Politics
When Alan announced his impending retirement earlier this year, the Institute began establishing the Alan Rosenthal Fund for the Study of State Government and Politics to honor and preserve his legacy of studying, teaching, promoting and improving state government. Tax deductible contributions in Alan's memory can be made online here.