The Department of Political Science at Miami University is deeply saddened by the January 1, 2016, passing of our colleague Daniel N. Jacobs, Professor Emeritus of Political Science.
Dan was born in Irvine, Kentucky to Robert Jacobs and Yetta Hellman Jacobs, on July 5, 1924. Educated first at Avondale School and Walnut Hills High School, Dan went on to Denison, Harvard (A.B. 1949), Yale (A.M. 1951) and Columbia (M.A. 1953, Ph.D. 1958). He served his country in the Army Air Corps in World War II. After a year at Hunter College, Dan joined the faculty at Miami University as Assistant Professor for the 1959-1960 school year. He advanced to Association Professor in 1962 and Professor in 1965—the position he held until retirement in 1995. Professor Jacobs became Professor Emeritus in 1998 and would go on to teach in Harrison Hall until the end of 2008—50 years as a dedicated teacher, scholar, mentor, colleague, and continuing on as friend and fan until his passing.
As an expert of Soviet and Russian Politics, Dan authored more than 30 books and articles, including Pulitzer Prize nominee Borodin: Stalin's Man in China (Harvard, 1981); and Studies of the Third Wave: Recent Migration of Soviet Jews to the United States (with Ellen Frankel Paul, Westview, 1981). In addition he was the senior author of Comparative Politics: An Introduction to the Politics of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Soviet Union; and the author, co-author, or editor of From Marx to Mao and Marchais: Documents on the Development of Communist Variations; The Masks of Communism; The New Communisms; Chinese Communism; Ideologies and Modern Politics, among other works. His articles and reviews appeared in such journals as the American Political Science Review, Midwest Journal of Political Science, American Historical Review, Slavic Review, China Quarterly, and the Journal of Asian Studies.
Dan studied at the Kennan Institute, taught at Miami’s Luxembourg campus, and was a consultant to the Department of State and the Naval Command School. He taught at universities around the world and served for many years on the Talawanda School Board. He was one of the founders of the Hillel Foundation in Oxford and served on its advisory board for many years. He served on nearly every department, college, and university committee imaginable over the course of his career, was a beloved teacher of government and politics, and an avid sports fan, including the Cincinnati Reds and Miami sports.
Dan was a loving husband to Janice Jacobs, doting father to Maggie, Ken and Susan Jacobs and grandchildren Max, Sam, Maddy and Caleb Jacobs, and devoted brother to Louis Jacobs. Funeral services were held at Weil Funeral Home in Cincinnati on January 4; Shivah will be observed Monday - Thursday, 7 pm at his residence.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Adath Israel Congregation, Miami University, or the Southern Poverty Law Center.