Daniel Patrick Moynihan, University Professor and former U.S. Senator, dies at 76
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, University Professor and former U.S. Senator, dies at 76March 27, 2003Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
Former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a University Professor in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, died March 26 after battling an infection stemming from a ruptured appendix. He was 76.
“Pat Moynihan was the kind of senator the Founders envisioned and the kind of broad-ranging public intellectual the Maxwell School celebrates,” says Maxwell Senior Associate Dean Robert D. McClure. “Pat was old-fashioned and courtly. He did not fit comfortably in modern, sound-bite politics. Still, he spoke truth to power, often elegantly, but sometimes too bluntly for his own good. We will not soon, if ever, see his like again. The nation has lost a giant, and the school has lost a dear friend.”
Moynihan first worked at SU as an assistant professor from 1959-1961, when he left to join the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. As a member of the Cabinets or sub-Cabinets of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford, he was the only person in U.S. history to service four successive administrations. During the 1970s, he served as U.S. Ambassador to India and U.S. Representative to the United Nations. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976, and served until 2001. At that time he rejoined SU as a University Professor in the Maxwell School.
In 1986, Moynihan established the Moynihan Prize, an annual award to honor outstanding Maxwell junior faculty members. He served as a member of the Maxwell School Advisory Board starting in 1992, and received an honorary degree from SU in 1984.
As part of his professorship, Moynihan conducted a graduate seminar at Maxwell and spoke to both graduate and undergraduate classes. He was also involved in research projects at Maxwell, and met frequently with students at SU’s Greenberg House in Washington, D.C.
Moynihan was known as an intellectual with a wide range of interests. He was one of the earliest supporters of welfare reform and was an expert on foreign affairs and urban redevelopment.
According to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who announced Moynihan’s death on the Senate floor, “we have lost a great American, an extraordinary senator, an intellectual and a man of passion and understanding about what really makes this country great.”