The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday December 5th

Rabinowitz, political science professor, dies in Norway

George Rabinowitz, a political science professor known for his groundbreaking work in the field of American politics, died this weekend from a heart attack.

Evelyne Huber, chairwoman of the political science department, was notified Saturday morning of Rabinowitz’s death in an email from his wife, Stuart Macdonald, said John Stephens, a political science professor.

Rabinowitz and his wife were in Trondheim, Norway conducting research.

He taught a large variety of political science courses for decades at the University, including POLI 100, Introduction to Government in the United States.

He began teaching at the University in 1971.

Rabinowitz was known for his theory of directional voting, which challenged the traditional median voter theory by arguing individuals prefer candidates who are further to the right or left — depending on the individual’s affiliation — rather than the center.

But his personality was the opposite of polarizing, Stephens said.

“He’s the total opposite of a polarizer, almost to a fault,” he said. “He is so likable.”

Stephens said he was shocked to learn of Rabinowitz’s death.

“He was in extremely good physical shape,” Stephens said. “He swam on a regular basis, and he was a golfer. He was very fit, so it’s very shocking.”

Rabinowitz was an ideal colleague, Stephens added.

“He was an incredibly magnanimous person.”

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