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Reginald Ely Zelnik ’56

Published in Nov. 3, 2004, issue

From all over the country came news of Reggie's tragic death on May 17, 2004.

A beloved history professor who had taught at the University of California at Berkeley for 40 years, Reggie was struck and killed by a delivery truck while making his way to an event near the center of campus.

At Princeton, Reggie earned numerals in freshman and junior varsity football, worked with WPRU, and was a member of Whig-Clio, the Hillel Foundation, and several foreign language clubs. His concentration was in French in the Special Program in European Civilization.

After serving in the Navy, he earned his master's and doctorate from Stanford.

At Berkeley, Reggie specialized in Russian and Soviet history and wrote several books on the subject. A colleague, Yuri Slezkine, said, "He had a great deal of knowledge and he knew, like nobody else, how to pass it along. He produced countless students who are very devoted to him."

Two years ago, in collaboration with New York University associate professor Robert Cohen, he co-edited a collection of essays, The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s.

The class extends deepest sympathy to Reggie's wife, Elaine, daughter Pamela, son Michael, and grandson Jaxson Zelnik Stuhr.

The Class of 1956

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