O'Brien, William V(incent) 1923-2003

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O'BRIEN, William V(incent) 1923-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born July 9, 1923, in Washington, DC; died of head injuries suffered from a fall July 8, 2003, in Washington, DC. Educator and author. O'Brien was a former professor of government at Georgetown University who specialized in international law and ethics. His life seemed to center around Georgetown University: He was born at Georgetown University hospital and spent his college years there, earning a Ph.D. in 1953. He spent his entire academic career there, too, beginning as an instructor in 1950, and retiring as professor emeritus in 1993. O'Brien's years at Georgetown were interrupted only by World War II, during which he served in the U.S. Army and saw action in the Pacific theater; after the war he remained in the Army Reserves and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. While teaching at Georgetown, O'Brien served as chair of the government department twice and also of the university's Institute of World Policy; he also helped to create the Goldman visiting Israeli professorship. His main interest as an academic involved the definition of the just war doctrine; he wrote extensively on this topic in books such as Christian Ethics and Nuclear Warfare (1961), coauthored with Ulrich S. Allers; War and/or Survival (1969); The Conduct of Just and Limited War (1981); and Law and Morality in Israel's War with the PLO (1991). O'Brien was also a former president of the Catholic Association of International Peace and former chair of the International Relations Committee at the Third-World Congress of the Law Apostolate. He was honored for his contributions in 1993 when Georgetown University established the William V. O'Brien Lecture in International Law and Morality.



Washington Post, July 19, 2003, p. B6.


Hoya,http://www.thehoya.com/ (August 29, 2003).

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O'Brien, William V(incent) 1923-2003

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