Sad News: The passing of Morton Deutsch | Teachers College Columbia University

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Sad News: The passing of Morton Deutsch

Dear TC Community:

It is with deep sadness that I must inform you that Morton Deutsch, one of the world’s foremost social psychologists and a beloved member of the TC community for more than a half century, passed away yesterday at the age of 97.

History will forever credit Mort with his pioneering work in the fields of conflict resolution, cooperative learning, and social justice.

Here at TC, Mort was renowned as a scholar, teacher and institution builder of the first rank. As the Edward Lee Thorndike Professor of Psychology and Education, Mort founded the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, authored seminal works in his field, and mentored hundreds of Ph.D. students at TC, including many current leaders in the fields of conflict negotiation, peace studies, and mediation. After retiring from the faculty in 1990, Mort continued to run the ICCCR until 1997, and remained active at TC virtually until the end of his life.

With Mort’s passing, Teachers College and the world have lost a giant – a brilliant and pioneering scientist whose ideas have changed history, an electrifying and beloved teacher who has mentored generations of students, and an extraordinary human being who inspired hope and served as a powerful force for social justice and the public good.

As we extend our condolences to his wife, Lydia, his sons, Tony and Nick, and his grandchildren and great grandchildren, we take comfort knowing that his work is being carried forward by the countless students and scholars who were influenced by his ideas and inspired by the wonderful man --- whose life we will continue to celebrate.

Last year, alumni, friends and family joined together in celebration of Mort's legacy, and established the Morton Deutsch Endowed Fellowship Fund. This fund supports TC students in our Social-Organizational Psychology Program who are studying conflict resolution. Anyone interested in making a gift in Mort's memory can do so by visiting this site.


Susan Fuhrman

Published Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017