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Lystad, Robert A(rthur Lunde) 1920-2004

LYSTAD, Robert A(rthur Lunde) 1920-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born August 10, 1920, in Milwaukee, WI; died of congestive heart failure June 11, 2004, in Bethesda, MD. Anthropologist, educator, minister, and author. Lystad, a longtime professor at Johns Hopkins University, was an expert on African affairs whose knowledge was frequently sought out by government agencies. His undergraduate work was completed at the University of Wisconsin in 1941, after which he received a B.D. from Drew Theological Seminary in 1944. After serving as a minister in the Methodist church in Miller-sport, Ohio, for two years, Lystad returned to school and graduated with a Ph.D. in anthropology from Northwestern University in 1951. He was hired by Tulane University that year, teaching and conducting field work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. His visits to Ghana in 1957 and 1958 spurred what would become his main interest: Africa. Leaving Tulane in 1961, he joined the Johns Hopkins faculty, where he remained until his 1991 retirement. Becoming an authority on African affairs, Lystad mixed teaching with work as an advisor and consultant to various organizations, including the Peace Corps, where he was an advisor during the 1960s and for which he trained the organizations' first volunteers to Africa. Also in the 1960s he was a lecturer and consultant for the Foreign Service Institute at the U.S. Department of State, chaired the Africa screening committee of the foreign area fellowship program, and directed seminars in diplomacy for the Carnegie Endowment Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. From 1963 to 1986, Lystad was a regular contributor to the Voice of America, which broadcast his radio series Africa in Print, which covered everything from politics to social and environmental issues. In 1979, Lystad was named associate dean of academic affairs at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins, a position he held until 1991, after which he remained acting associate dean for a year. The university presented him with the Founder's Award from the School of Advanced International Studies upon his retirement. Lystad was the author of The Ashanti: A Proud People (1958) and edited The African World: A Survey of Social Research (1965).



Washington Post, June 28, 2004, p. B4.

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