Sociology Professor Charles Moskos died Saturday at age 74 in Santa Monica, Calif., the university announced Monday, after a long fight with cancer.
He was also deeply influential for his expertise on the armed forces, widely cited by journalists and scholars and known for crafting the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that governs homosexuals serving in the military.
“Charlie was a great teacher, scholar, public policy influential and friend. He was great for Northwestern and will be missed,” President Henry Bienen said in a statement. A memorial service at Northwestern will be held soon, Bienen said.
Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer called Moskos’s teaching “legendary,” while Mary Pattillo, chair of the sociology department, said Moskos would be “irreplaceable.”
He “died peacefully in his sleep after a valiant struggle with cancer,” according to an e-mail from his wife, sent to journalist James Fallows.
Moskos was diagnosed with a relapse of prostate cancer in August 2006, and took time off for treatment. He returned to teach classes again this past fall, but announced at the end of this year that he would not return, because of health reasons.
He wrote numerous books and research articles, and was given the Distinguished Service Award, which is the Army’s top honor for a civilian.
Moskos was “a remarkable man” and a “renowned scholar,” said Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commanding general in Iraq, in a statement.
According to a Northwestern statement, Moskos is survived by his wife of 41 years, Ilca; son Andrew, daughter-in-law Saskia and grandchildren Finn and Aidan, of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and son Peter and daughter-in-law Zora O’Neill, of Astoria, N.Y.
A wake will be held Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home, 6150 N. Cicero Ave. The funeral will begin at 10 a.m. the following day at St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church, 5649 N. Sheridan Road.
Read NU’s statement about Moskos.
Alex Campbell contributed reporting. More to come.