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In Memoriam: Robert Charles Smith, 1947-2023


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Robert Charles Smith, a long-time member of the political science department at San Francisco State University, died on April 13. He was 76 years old. A native of Benton, Louisiana, Dr. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley. He held a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Ph.D. from Howard University in Washington, D.C. A statement released by the department of political science at San Franciso State University said “Dr. Smith had an encyclopedic knowledge of U.S. presidents. His abiding interest (but not his only one by a long shot) was how various administrations dealt with racial issues. One of his later contributions to the literature was a discussion of how U.S. conservativism was inherently related to anti-Blackness.” Dr. Smith was the co-author of  Race, Class, and Culture: A Study in Afro-American Mass Opinion and Leadership (State University of New York Press, 1992) and Polarization and the Presidency: From FDR to Barack Obama (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2015).