Michael Katz: An Appreciation

We regret to announce the death of Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History Michael B. Katz, a pioneering scholar in the history of American education, urban social structure and family organization, and social welfare and poverty. His many books include Reconstructing American Education, One Nation Divisible: What America Was and What It Is Becoming (with Mark J. Stern), and The Undeserving Poor: From the War on Poverty to the War on Welfare. He published a fully updated and revised The Undeserving Poor: America's Enduring Confrontation with Poverty in 2013.

Educated at Harvard, Katz had been a Guggenheim Fellow and was a fellow of the National Academy of Education, the National Academy of Social Insurance, the Society of American Historians, and a member of the American Philosophical Society. In 1999, he received a Senior Scholar Award—a lifetime achievement award—from the Spencer Foundation. He had taught at Penn since 1978.

Thomas Sugure, David Boies Professor of History, calls Katz “a model mentor and scholar, someone who fearlessly engaged the world outside the academy. He tackled America’s most pressing social problems—public education, inequality, poverty and welfare, urban policy—with deep passion and real rigor.” Read Sugrue’s essay honoring his colleague and friend here

Learn more about Katz’s work here.

Read the New York Times obituary of Katz here.

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