John E.D. Irving, Jr. 1948-2020

National Association of Scholars

The National Association of Scholars mourns the passing of John Irving, who died on December 13 in Princeton. John worked for NAS between 1993-2013, and for many years served as managing editor of Academic Questions.

Originally from Wilmington Delaware, John was a 1971 graduate of Kenyon College, with a bachelor’s degree in English. After leaving Kenyon, he served for four years in the United States Army and did extensive intelligence work in Southeast Asia during the Viet Nam war. In addition to French, he was proficient with Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai.

After working for various Princeton publishers, John came to NAS in March 1993 as an assistant editor for Academic Questions. AQ was then still in its formative years, and in addition to his editorial work, John was instrumental in bringing a number of talented authors to write for the journal. He was also a gifted caricaturist, and in this capacity provided numerous drawings for the delight and entertainment of his office colleagues. John was an active member of the Princeton Arts Council and, as a talented jazz pianist was a co-founder of Café Improv, a popular local night spot which attracted numerous celebrity musicians and entertainers.

John is survived by his wife Lynn, his two sons Geoffrey and Michael, and his daughter Ann. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family, and gratefully acknowledge his many productive years with NAS.


Photo by Devonshire on Unsplash

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