UC Berkeley press release


Professor emeritus Carl G. Rosberg, expert in African politics, dies at age 73

by Kathleen Scalise

Berkeley -- Carl G. Rosberg, an expert in African politics and professor emeritus of political science at the University of California at Berkeley, died Oct. 3 in Oakland, California following a long series of illnesses. He was 73 years old.

On the UC Berkeley faculty since 1958, Rosberg was director of the Institute of International Studies, 1973-89, and chair of the Department of Political Science, 1969-1974. He was also chair of the African Studies Center.

"Carl's record of extraordinary service to the [UC Berkeley] campus helped it emerge as a preeminent institution in comparative international studies in those years," said Robert Price, current chair of the political science department.

Born in 1923 in Oakland, Rosberg served in the US Army Air Force as a navigator during World War II. He was shot down over Romania in 1944 and was a prisoner of war until liberated by Russian troops in 1945.

Rosberg went on to earn his doctorate at Oxford University in 1954. In subsequent years at UC Berkeley, Rosberg played a key role in organizing scholarly exchanges with the former U.S.S.R. and China, then virtually closed to the world's academic community.

He also "had a tremendous impact as a teacher and as a mentor of graduate students, not just American students, but foreign students, particularly African students," said Price. Many of those he taught assumed leadership roles in African studies at major universities around the world, and today many hold senior government positions. Rosberg himself held positions at three African universities over the course of his career.

The author of many scholarly works, Rosberg wrote two books that remain "absolutely seminal works in the field," said Price. They are "The Myth of 'Mau Mau': Nationalism in Kenya" and "Personal Rule in Black Africa."

The campus's Carl G. Rosberg International Studies Library and a 1994 Berkeley Citation are among Rosberg's many honors and awards.

Rosberg leaves Elizabeth, his wife of 43 years who lives in Berkeley, and two sons, James Rosberg of Boston, and David Rosberg of Berkeley.

There will be no funeral service.

Contributions may be made to the Nature Conservancy, 1815 N. Lynn St., Arlington, VA 22209.

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