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In Memoriam: Howard Zinn
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In Memoriam: Howard Zinn

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

Social justice activist, American historian and Professor of Political Science at Boston University from 1964 to 1988, Howard Zinn died the morning of January 27 of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California. Zinn was traveling in California at the time and was set to speak on January 29. He was 87.

Born August 24, 1922, Zinn was the leftist author of more than 20 books, the most famous of which was the 1980's A People's History of the United States. Zinn was a leading ally and voice of the people in civil rights, civil liberties and the anti-war movement throughout his career.

Zinn was swimming laps in the swimming pool of his Santa Monica hotel when he died. He was spotted by lifeguards immediately, however he died instantly.

"The night before he was in great spirits, telling all that he was thrilled to be out of the cold in Boston. He spoke to a friend right before taking his dip to make dinner plans," said Dave Zirin, one of Zinn's collaborators.

"I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble," Zinn wrote in his autobiography, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train.

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