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Herb London, the Founding Dean of Gallatin, Passes Away

London was the founding director and later dean of what is now NYU Gallatin

Nov 26, 2018

photo of Herb London

On Sunday, November 11, Herbert London, the founding dean of the Gallatin School, passed away at age 79. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, November 13 at 12:30 pm at Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York City. London is survived by his wife and their three daughters. London earned his PhD from NYU in 1966, and began his career at the University in 1972, first as an assistant professor and then as the founding director and later dean of what is now NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

While at NYU, London set forth the original plan for Gallatin, which combined internships, work in civic organizations in New York, and other kinds of experiential learning, along with the study of the “Great Books,” understood in his time as a study of the Western classics. As a conservative leader both in education and across the state, London was a leading proponent of the experimental, individualized study that became the School’s trademark; his emphasis on recruiting fine teachers, studying the classics, and insisting on a deep connection between the humanities and work in the city gave the School its distinct character.

After NYU, London pursued a career in politics, seeking elected office as the mayor and later of governor of New York, before leading research groups and scholarly think tanks, including the Hudson Institute and, more recently, the eponymous London Center for Policy Research. He was the author of over 30 books and also a television host for CNN’s “Crossfire,” NBC’s “Myths That Rule America,” and CBS’s “The American Character”. For more on London’s life, read The New York Times obituary.