To The Daily:
Readers of the Daily know (or should know) that many former top editors have gone on to distinguished careers. I write to mark another such individual, Prof. John Philip Dawson III, who died on Mar. 21 in New York.
Phil Dawson was the son of a distinguished University law professor, John P. Dawson, and his wife, Emma. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1950. While here, he was editorial director of the Daily, writing clear and incisive commentary on the issues of the day. He obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1961 and taught French history at Stanford and Brooklyn College. He wrote “Provincial Magistrates and Revolutionary Politics, 1789-1795,” and more than 40 historical articles and other works. He taught more than 40 graduate and undergraduate courses and trained some of today’s leading historians.
He was my predecessor as editorial director of the Daily and, in fact, it was at his urging that I decided to join the Daily in 1958. His brother, Peter Dawson, was associate editorial director in my year. Phil always thought the people attached to the Daily were among the brightest and most interesting people on the campus, which I trust is still the case. Although a magisterial scholar, he was very warm and easy to approach, with a wonderful sense of humor always at a boil just below the surface.
Philip H. Power