Mildred A. Schwartz (1932-2023): Death of a pioneering Canadian-American social scientist

We are deeply saddened to acknowledge the death of Mildred A. Schwartz at her home in Toronto on November 20, 2023. Dr. Schwartz was a pioneering scholar of Canadian and American politics, and a unwavering supporter of Canadian Studies for many decades. She was born in Toronto on November 17, 1932, and was a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she earned BA and MA degrees in sociology, and Columbia University, where she earned her PhD in Sociology in 1965 under the supervision of Juan Linz. Her first academic appointment was at the University of Calgary, but most of her career was spent at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where she taught for three decades. Following her retirement from UIC, Dr. Schwartz accepted a position as a Visiting Scholar at New York University.

Dr. Schwartz was a dedicated and prolific scholar, writing 10 books and more than 60 articles and chapters that included works on the Canadian identity, regionalism in Canada, political parties, and electoral behavior, among other things. One of the early adopters of quantitative methods in the study of Canadian politics, she was a member of the first team to conduct a national election survey in Canada in 1965. 

Dr. Schwartz received many honors and awards over her distinguished career. She returned to the University of Calgary in 1999 after being selected as the first recipient of the “Thomas O. Enders Chair In Canada-U.S. Relations.” While in residence there, several of her colleagues organized a conference and festschrift in her honor that was subsequently published as an edited collection entitled Regionalism and Party Politics in Canada (Lisa Young and Keith Archer, eds., Oxford University Press). In 2010, the Canadian Politics Section of the American Political Science Association recognized her extraordinary accomplishments by naming its “Lifetime Achievement Award” in her honor. In 2019 she received the highest honor ACSUS can bestow, the Donner Medal, which recognizes  “…distinguished achievement, scholarship and program innovation in the area of Canadian Studies in the United States.” 

Dr. Schwartz was more than a distinguished scholar. She was a gracious and generous academic who gave freely of herself in the service of Canadian Studies. She took a personal interest in younger academics, mentoring them and encouraging them in their endeavors. She will be missed by so very many.