Dr. Charlie Press, former Department Chairperson, has died at age 99

March 29, 2022

Dr. Charles "Charlie" Press, long time political science professor and former department chair, died March 8 at age 99.

Born in St. Louis, MO to a minister, Dr. Press served in World War II before attending the University of Minnesota on the GI Bill. He earned his M.A. in Political Science at the University of Minnesota in 1951, and his Ph.D. in 1953.

He taught at North Dakota Agricultural College and the University of Wisconsin before coming to Michigan State University in 1954.

Dr. Press was promoted to Associate Professor in 1956, and to Professor in 1965. He is author of more than 30 books and monographs, as well as numerous journal articles. His coauthored books include Democracy in Urban America (1961), The American Political Process (1965, 1969), Governing Urban America (1968, 1977), American Politics Reappraised: The Enchantment of Camelot Dispelled (1973, 1974), State and Community Governments in the Federal System (1979, 1983), and American Policy Studies (1981).

In addition to co-editing Democracy in Urban America: Readings on Government and Politics (1961) and Empathy and Ideology (1966), he is the sole author of American Politics and Journalists (1988), Democracy in the Fifty States (1966), and The Political Cartoon (1981).

In addition to his service as Department Chairperson, Dr. Press started the Michigan Conference of Political Scientists in 1969. In 2012, the group changed its name to Michigan Political Science Association and celebrated its 50th annual conference in 2018.

Dr. Press retired in 1990. Outside of his academic work, he was a leader in Urban League, an Ingham County Commissioner and an honored member of the Sherlock Holmes Society.

He and his wife, Nancy, were long-time residents of East Lansing as well as Whiskey Creek, Mich. Nancy preceded him in death. They are survived by four children and multiple grand- and great-grand children.