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Gallagher, Patrick 1930-2006

Gallagher, Patrick 1930-2006

(Patrick Francis Gallagher, Jr.)


See index for CA sketch: Born April 18, 1930, in Wilkinsburg, PA; died of congestive heart failure, July 29, 2006, in Fort Bragg, CA. Anthropologist, educator, illustrator, and author. Gallagher distinguished himself with his archeological work in the United States and South America, but was most often remembered for stirring controversy at George Washington University when he argued in the 1960s for the elimination of the grading system. After service in the U.S. Navy, he earned a B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh in 1957 and a Ph.D. from Yale in 1964. While still an assistant professor at George Washington University in the early 1960s, he declared that grading systems distracted students from the real job of learning. To make his point, he announced in one class that he would give all his students A's and that in another class they would all get F's. Of course, Gallagher's independent decision was denounced by the university. The teacher agreed to discuss the matter, and it was decided that the university would reevaluate its grading methods if Gallagher would go back to giving his students grades. This changed grading policies not at all. After becoming a full professor in 1967 and heading the anthropology department from 1965 to 1968, Gallagher left George Washington University under a cloud of speculation that he was forced out. He worked as a copy editor for the National Academy of Sciences for two years before returning to teaching at the College of the Potomac in 1971. He served as dean there until 1972, then moved on to Cerro Coso Community College until 1975. He taught sporadically after that, including as a professor of anthropology at the Universidad Nacional Francisco de Miranda in Venezuela from 1979 to 1981 and as a lecturer at Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia from 1990 to 1991. An illustrator of several books during the 1950s and 1960s, including Irving Rouse's The Entry of Man into the West Indies (1960) and Michael D. Coe's Mexico (1962), Gallagher published his own La Pitia: A Formative Tradition in Northwestern Venezuela in 1973 and was a contributor to scholarly journals.



Washington Post, August 13, 2006, p. C8.

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