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In Memoriam: Presidential Fellow Dr. Herb London

November 13, 2018 | Rebecca Au-Mullaney

Herbert London
Dr. Herb London delivering a lecture at King’s on March 12, 2018.

Dr. Herb London, presidential scholar at The King’s College, passed away at the age of 79 on November 10, surrounded by his family.

President Tim Gibson said, “Dr. London leaves a lasting mark on King’s, from the wisdom shared in his lectures to his recommendation that King’s adopt a core curriculum in politics, philosophy, and economics. We will sorely miss his friendship and his dedication to the defense of individual rights, the rule of law, and the protection of conscience.”

London was a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, former president of the Hudson Institute, and a widely-published cultural commentator. London graduated from Columbia University in 1960 and received his Ph.D. from New York University in 1966, eventually becoming the John M. Olin Professor of Humanities at New York University. In 1972, he founded the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU to promote the study of the great books, and was its dean until 1992.

Along with his friend and former Secretary of the Treasury Bill Simon, London considered buying The King’s College in the 1990s when the College was undergoing financial troubles. Though they decided against the purchase, London remained aware of the movements of the College in the following years. After King’s moved to New York City, Friedhelm Radandt, the College’s fourth president, sought out London’s curricular recommendations.

London, who was deeply influenced by Columbia’s core curriculum, itself modeled off of Oxford University’s core, proposed that King’s likewise center its curriculum around Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. In a series of lectures presented at King’s, London proposed that courses teach “the philosophical underpinnings of Judeo-Christian civilization” and urged that students read literature ranging from the Ancient Greeks to Shakespeare.

London’s formal connection to the College began in 2015, when King’s began housing his London Center for Policy Research, organized to provide research on national security, energy, and risk analysis. London served as presidential scholar from 2015 until his passing. During his tenure, he delivered a number of lectures to the student body, faculty, and staff on the value of the humanities.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 13th at 12:30 at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76th Street, New York, NY 10023.