M. Crawford Young, an emeritus professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and one of the foremost scholars in the world on African politics, died Jan. 22 in Madison from complications related to congestive heart failure. He was 88.
While the Department of Political Science was Young’s disciplinary base, he was a central figure in the creation of the university’s African Studies Program. His critical early leadership and support helped the program thrive and provided him with an interdisciplinary community of scholars that nurtured his work. He remained actively engaged with the program until his death.
“We have lost a man of towering intellect and an international scholar who was one of a kind,” says UW–Madison Professor Aili Mari Tripp, who worked closely with Young in the political science department and African Studies Program and considered him a mentor. Tripp is the Wangari Maathai Professor of Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies and chair of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.