In Memoriam: Robert Curvin, Bloustein School Senior Policy Fellow, civil rights activist, historian, and alumnus

September 29, 2015

The Bloustein School mourns the passing of Dr. Robert Curvin, a distinguished alumnus of Rutgers-Newark, a Senior Policy Fellow at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and a civil rights leader and world-renowned expert on urban politics, economic development and social policy. He was 81.

James Hughes, Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Bloustein School noted, “We have lost a great friend who graced the Bloustein School with his presence and intellectual depth for many years. It was a privilege to be his colleague.”

An eyewitness to the civil rights events in Newark in 1967, in 2014 he authored Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation (Rutgers University Press), which traces Newark’s history from the 1950s from when the city was a thriving industrial center to the era of Mayor Cory Booker, chronicling its history, politics, and culture. Dr. Curvin was a longtime resident of Newark, advocating not only for the people of the city he loved but also serving as a valuable civilian resource to many of the city’s well-known political leaders.

“Bob Curvin was an original—a scholar, a teacher and a dedicated citizen,” noted Linda Stamato, Bloustein School Faculty Fellow and co-director of the school’s Center for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. “He lent his talents and much of his heart to his city, Newark, where he lived for most of his life. He was a force for progress, for tolerance, for a future for Newark. He was a generous man, a kind and thoughtful friend. Here at the Bloustein School, we will miss his keen insights and good humor and his contributions to our thinking about “real life” applications for urban planning and policy.”

As a member of the Bloustein School’s faculty, he taught courses in community economic development, drawing upon his lifelong experiences as an activist, a leader, and an educator to impart valuable real-world knowledge of social justice issues to a new generation of students seeking to make an impact.

Please see the articles at and Rutgers-Newark for much more detailed summaries of his exemplary career.

In addition to his widow, Patricia, Bob is survived by a son, Dr. Frank Curvin; a daughter, Nicole; and beloved grandchildren.

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