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John died suddenly on May 9, 2017 at the age of 78. He was the beloved husband of Eleanor Greene; devoted father of Joshua and Jamie Radner; adored grandfather of Cole, Augustus and Phoebe Radner; loving brother of Barbara Radner; cherished uncle of Cynthia Paulauskas and Terri Lydon; and generous stepfather of Elizabeth and David Pelcyger. John was Professor Emeritus at George Mason University and the author of "Johnson and Boswell: A Biography of Friendship," winner of the Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize in 2015. John graduated from Harvard College in 1960 and received his PhD in English from Harvard in 1966. He was Head Tutor in English at Harvard from 1966 to 1971 and then taught at Georgetown University from 1971 to 1975 before moving to George Mason University, from which he retired in 2007. In the last few years, John was an avid study group leader with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).  A celebration of John's life will be held at the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Sunday, May 21 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in John's name may be made to Doctors Without Borders, Partners in Health or Save the Children.

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Published in The Washington Post on May 17, 2017.