Theodore Mills Norton

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Theodore Mills Norton February 17, 1938 March 30, 2014 Theodore Mills Norton died on March 30, 2014, in State College following complications of a stroke. He was 76 years old. He was born on February 17, 1938, in New York City. His parents, Robert Norton and Irene Mills Norton, introduced him early on to social justice and civil rights activism, 20th century movements in opera, theater, psychoanalysis, anthropology and social work. Norton, known as Ted to friends, received a BA in English and an MA in Renaissance and Reformation History from the University of Washington, Seattle and a PhD in Political Theory from New York University. He did additional graduate work in Film Studies, American and World History at NYU and Cognitive Studies of Computers and Learning at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He taught at Nassau Community College, Jersey City State College, Vassar College, Hampshire College, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Pennsylvania State University, University Park in the Departments of Science, Technology and Society, Social Thought and Political Economy, Political Science, and Arts and Humanities. He was active in the post-WW II social justice movements concerning civil rights, free speech, anti-war, and environmental issues. His avid intellectual interests ranged across the English metaphysical poets and beat poetry to the revolutionary thought of the Dominican friar Savonarola, Spinoza and Marx, the communicative theory of Jürgen Habermas, 19th and 20th century anarchist and socialist movements, modern and late-modern painting and graphic design. He was a great conversationalist and a lover of music of many genres. Science Fiction, as depicted in film and literature, was a passion throughout his life. A favorite pastime in his later years was driving his two anarchist pups, Emma and Sasha, to the bookstore with him. Ted leaves behind his magnificent and vast library of books collected over his lifetime. He is survived by his wife of forty years and best friend, Joan Landes, of State College; three daughters, Emily Norton, of Southfield, Mich., Simone Brennan Norton, of Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., and Eleanor Norton, of New York City; three grandchildren, Sam and Christopher Brennan and Elizabeth Kurylo; three great-grandchildren, John, Violette, and Ashton Kurylo; two sons-in-law David Brennan and Ryan Kurylo. Memorial service will be held Sunday, April 6, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 780 Waupelani Extension, State College. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in his name to Democracy Now!, the ACLU or Amnesty International. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at

Published in Centre Daily Times on Apr. 2, 2014
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