In Memoriam

Marcus Alexis (1932-2009)

Marcus Alexis, one of the nation’s most esteemed black economists, died late last month at Stanford University hospital. He was 77 years old.

Dr. Alexis was the chair of the economics department at Northwestern University and also taught at the university’s Kellogg School of Management. From 1985 to 1991, he was dean of the business school at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Earlier in his career he taught at Macalester College, DePaul University, the University of Rochester, and the University of California at Berkeley.

A native of New York City, his parents were immigrants from the West Indies. He graduated from Brooklyn College. He went on to earn a master’s degree at Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota.

Professor Alexis was the author or editor of six books and more than 60 scholarly articles. In addition to his academic career, Dr. Alexis served on the Interstate Commerce Commission and was chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Alexis’ wife Geraldine was a partner at Sidley & Austin, where Michelle Obama began her career. Marcus and Geraldine Alexis were guests at the Obama wedding.

George Edwards (1948-2009)

George Edwards, professor of music and director of the Marching Storm Band at Prairie View A&M University in Texas for more than 30 years, died late last month from injuries suffered in an automobile crash. He was 60 years old.

Professor Edwards was a graduate of Florida A&M University and held a master’s degree from Michigan State University. He joined the faculty at Prairie View in 1978. His Marching Storm band performed in the inaugural parade for George W. Bush and in the 120th Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California, this past January.