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Long-time, beloved New England Law | Boston professor passes away

Professor George Dargo taught at New England Law for 28 years


Professor George Dargo Professor George Dargo
(Boston Revised 01/13/2012) New England Law | Boston: New England Law | Boston mourns the loss of Professor George Dargo, who passed away on Thursday, January 5. A devoted member of the faculty since 1983, Dargo taught Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Freedom of Expression, and Law and Literature and was known for his scholarship on American legal history.

“George Dargo taught at New England Law for 28 years, and he was a deeply beloved member of our faculty,” said Dean John F. O’Brien. “He was always eager to talk to students, whether it was explaining a concept from class or conversing about legal or political issues. His colleagues and his students all admired his intellectual abilities and loved him for his warmth and his humor. His legacy lives on in the many students whom he taught and guided, the colleagues whose lives he enriched, and his scholarly work, which made valuable contributions to the fields of history and law.”

A former college history professor, Dargo focused his research and writing in the areas of legal history and constitutional law. He authored several books, including Jefferson’s Louisiana: Politics and the Clash of Legal Traditions, which was republished in 2009 and is considered one of the definitive works on the subject of the Louisiana Purchase. Writing on the University of Edinburgh Legal History blog, Professor John Cairns said, “It is undoubtedly one of the most important studies ever of the Louisiana Purchase and its impact on the politics and legal culture of Louisiana. It was a major influence on my own work.”
Professor Dargo - candid
Professor Dargo’s other books include A History of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 1890–1960 (1993), Law in the New Republic: Private Law and the Public Estate (1983), and Roots of the Republic: A New Perspective on Early American Constitutionalism (1974). From Colony to Empire: Episodes in American Legal History will be published later this year. A former law clerk to the Hon. Rya Zobel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, he served on the advisory committee of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Historical Society.

Professor Dargo’s civic contributions include many years’ service as a Brookline Town Meeting member; he was also a member of the Board of Selectmen Advisory Committee.

Professor Dargo earned B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, and he taught history at the City College of New York, University of Massachusetts Boston, and College of the Holy Cross. He later earned a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and was an associate with Widett, Slater & Goldman in the Civil Litigation Department.
Professor Lawrence Friedman has posted a tribute to Professor Dargo on New England Law's faculty blog.  Other online tributes to Professor Dargo, many of them from former students, can be found at the Boston Globe.


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