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In Memoriam: Abe Holtzman

Longtime political science professor Abe Holtzman died Monday at 88.

The award-winning professor was a mentor to some of the state’s top Democrats. In a 1988 article in The News & Observer, former Gov. Jim Hunt called Holtzman, “the most challenging and stimulating professor I ever had.” But former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms was not a fan. Early in his career as a local TV commentator, Helms labeled Holtzman a subversive who undermined the values of the South.

Born in Detroit and educated at UCLA and Harvard, Holtzman served as a congressional aide and staff assistant to the Democratic National Committee before starting his teaching career. He taught for more than 45 years at NC State, where his research interests included lobbying, political parties and the relationship between the president and Congress.

He is survived by his wife, Sylvia, three sons and their wives, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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