Polsby, renowned political scientist, died on February 6 at the age of 72.
Polsby was a member of the Wesleyan faculty from 1961 through 1968, rising
meteorically from the rank of assistant professor to full professor.
According to Karl Scheibe, professor emeritus of psychology, “Nelson left an
indelible mark on Wesleyan, even though he was only here for seven years.”
Polsby was a prolific author of books and articles and editor of The
American Political Science Review, the premier political science
journal. Perspectives on Politics noted that Polsby ranked in the top ten of
most frequently cited political scientists among those entering the field
when he did.
In the early 1980s, Polsby was a visiting professor at the Roosevelt Center
for American Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., a private think tank that
specialized in issues of defense policy and disarmament. Wesleyan President
Douglas Bennet was the Roosevelt Center’s first president and he and Polsby
remained life-long friends.
Nelson Polsby is survived by his wife, Linda, his children, and