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In Memoriam

In memoriam is a page to read featured obituaries of Northwestern alumni, faculty and staff. Visit Remembrances to read memorials of Northwestern community members submitted by their family or peers. Please send obituaries to alums@northwestern.edu.

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James Turner

James Turner ’68 MA, Ithaca, N.Y., Aug. 6, 2022, at age 82. A skilled organizer, civil rights activist and scholar of Africana studies, Turner played an instrumental role in helping Northwestern create a more equitable, enriching environment for Black students. On May 3, 1968, just one month after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Turner led 120 Northwestern students in a peaceful, 38-hour sit-in at the Bursar’s Office to protest the racism Black students faced on campus. Turner served as a lead negotiator in the protest, which resulted in the University agreeing to eight concrete actions to improve the Black student experience, including the creation of The Black House and an expansion of the curriculum to include Black studies, among other improvements. Turner was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1940 and grew up in Harlem, listening to Malcolm X, reading W.E.B. Du Bois and keenly learning about the Black liberation struggle in the U.S. He enrolled at Northwestern as a graduate student in sociology and worked as a graduate assistant in the University’s African Studies Center. Intent on improving the Black student experience at Northwestern, Turner founded the African American Student Union, which raised funds to assist Black student activists in the South. After graduating with his master’s degree from Northwestern, Turner earned a PhD from the Union Graduate School in Cincinnati. In 1969 he moved to Ithaca and joined Cornell University as founding director of the Africana Studies and Research Center at a time when the university had very few Black tenured professors and no African American studies curriculum. Turner, who coined the term “Africana studies” to embrace a more comprehensive study of the African diaspora and its resulting cultures and histories, served as director of the center until 1986 and also taught as a professor of African and African American politics and social policy at Cornell for many years. He later returned as director of the center from 1996 to 2001. Turner was an active global citizen as well. He served as co-chair of the International Congress of Africanists in Ethiopia in 1973 and chair of the North American delegation to the Sixth Pan African Congress in 1974. He was a national organizer for the Southern African Liberation Support Committee and also helped found the African American lobbying organization TransAfrica in 1977. Turner is survived by his wife, Janice, and his three children, Hassan, Sekai and Tshaka. Read a more detailed remembrance of Turner’s legacy here.

Marilyn Klecka Miglin

Marilyn Klecka Miglin ’62, Chicago, March 14, at age 83. A cosmetics entrepreneur, Miglin was known for her Oak Street store in Chicago and Home Shopping Network (HSN) appearances. Born in Chicago, Miglin grew up dancing ballet. While attending Northwestern on a math scholarship, she continued dancing and participated in the chorus at Chicago’s Chez Paree nightclub, performing alongside Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Jimmy Durante. After modeling for Marshall Field & Co., she opened Marilyn Miglin Model Makeup in 1963 and eventually developed her own line of cosmetics and fragrances. In the late 1990s she began appearing as a pitchwoman on HSN for her products. Miglin founded and led the Oak Street Council, and Oak Street was named “Marilyn Miglin Way” in her honor. She also helped burn victims and people with facial disfigurement find makeup options. Her motivational memoir, Best Face Forward, was published in 2001. She is survived by her son, Duke; her daughter, Marlena Miglin ’91; and six grandchildren.

Sanford D. "Sandy" Horwitt

Sanford D. “Sandy” Horwitt ’65, ’70 PhD, Arlington, Va., March 12, at age 79. A talented political adviser, activist and author, Horwitt wrote biographies of significant figures such as Saul Alinsky, Russell D. Feingold and Abner Mikva ’91 H. Horwitt’s career in politics began when he volunteered on Mikva’s 1974 congressional campaign. The two formed a long-lasting friendship. Horwitt served as an aide to Mikva until the Senate confirmed Mikva as a federal appeals court judge in 1979. Horwitt went on to advise several public interest campaigns on Capitol Hill including the National Coalition to Ban Handguns. His 1989 biography Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky: His Life and Legacy became an influential book in the political careers of Barack Obama ’06 H and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Horwitt also contributed to the New York Times Book Review and co-produced the documentary Mikva! Democracy is a Verb. Horwitt attended Northwestern on a baseball scholarship. He played second base and co-captained the varsity team. After graduate school at San Francisco State University, he returned to Northwestern as a graduate teaching assistant in communications. He met his future wife, Joan Engel Horwitt ’67, when she enrolled in his Group Dynamics course. They married in 1970. In addition to his wife of 51 years, Horwitt is survived by his two sons Dusty and Jeff ’00; daughters-in-law Ann and Lauren; and two granddaughters.

Rusty Mae Moore

Rusty Mae Moore ’63, Feb. 23, Pine Hill, N.Y., at age 80. Fluent in six languages, Moore taught international business for several decades at Hofstra University. Moore directed the Hofstra University Business Research Institute, was a Fulbright fellow in Brazil and taught in Russia and the Netherlands. In the early 1990s Moore transitioned as a trans woman and became a prominent transgender and LGBTQ rights activist. She taught the first gender studies class at Hofstra. Moore and her wife, Chelsea Goodwin, opened up their home in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood to provide housing to transgender and other LGBTQ people in need of housing, including Sylvia Rivera, an important figure in New York’s transgender history. Moore and Goodwin’s home earned the affectionate nickname “Transy House.” Moore and Goodwin were legally married in 2018 after spending nearly 30 years together. The couple ran a bookstore together in Pine Hill, hosted a radio show and founded a festival for people interested in the science fiction subgenre steampunk. Moore is survived by her wife; her children, Jonica, Amanda and Colin; her sister, Susan; and two grandchildren.

Photo Credit: Jonica Moore

Josephine “Jo” Baskin Minow

Josephine “Jo” Baskin Minow ’48, Chicago, Feb. 17, 2022, at age 95. A Chicago philanthropist and civic activist, Minow co-founded the Northwestern University Women’s Board in 1978 and served on the boards of the Juvenile Protective Association and Chicago History Museum, among others. While at Northwestern, she advocated against the exclusion of racial minorities from University housing. Minow later taught kindergarten and fifth grade at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago and wrote three children’s books. She and her husband, former Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton Minow ’49, ’50 JD, ’65 H, supported the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law for decades. The Newton N. Minow Endowed Fund was established in their honor and supports the Newton N. Minow Visiting Professorship and the Newt and Jo Minow Debate Series, a cherished Law School tradition. She is survived by Newt, her husband of 72 years; daughters Nell, Martha ’12 H and Mary; and grandchildren Ben, Rachel and Mira. 

Amos Sawyer

Amos Sawyer ’70 MA, ’73 PhD, Feb. 16, at age 76. An activist, academic and politician, Sawyer was a significant figure in Liberia’s recent progressive age. After earning his doctorate in political science from Northwestern, he ran as an independent for mayor of Monrovia and founded the Liberian People’s Party in 1983. Following the murder of President Samuel Doe, Sawyer was voted as the country’s interim president. He served from 1990 to 1994. Sawyer was active outside his political work as one of the founding members of Movement for Justice in Africa. He taught political science at the University of Liberia, where he received his undergraduate degree, and in December 1980 he became dean of the College of Social Sciences and acting director of the university. Sawyer received the Gusi Peace Prize in 2011 for his work in Africa. He is survived by his wife, Comfort, and their children.

Sherry L. Jones

Sherry L. Jones ’71 MS, Washington D.C., Feb. 14, at age 73. After receiving her master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern, Jones got her start in the film industry working as a field producer for Oscar-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim. Jones then started her own production company, Washington Media Associates. Her films won many awards, and during her career she received eight Emmy Awards, three duPont-Columbia Awards, three Peabody Awards and three Edward R. Murrow Awards. Her 2008 documentary and one of her last films before retirement, Torturing Democracy, investigated the history of the George W. Bush administration’s detention and interrogation program where detainees were subjected to various torture methods such as sleep deprivation and waterboarding. It received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. During retirement, Jones worked as a volunteer at an organic farm and screened her films at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Alan Stone, and her brother.

Photo Credit: National Security Archive