George A. Brinkley ’53

Dr. George A. Brinkley, an authority on the Soviet Union and Communism, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame died in Youngsville, NC on October 24, 2019.

Prof. Brinkley was born on April 20, 1931, to George and Ida (West) Brinkley in Wilmington, NC.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife of over 59 years, Ann M. Kreps of South Bend; a brother, William M. of VA; and a sister, Jo-Anne Duck of NC.

He is survived by his daughter, Heidi Ann Stephens (Adolph) and a grandson, Jordan Ramos of NC; and a sister, Betty Westbrook of SC.

An honors graduate of Davidson College (NC), he completed his M.A. And Ph.D. Degrees and the Certificate of the Russian Institute at Columbia University in NY. As a student, he was honored by membership in Phi Beta Kappa and received many fellowships and research grants.

He began his teaching career at Columbia University and then joined the faculty of the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 1958.

In later years he served as Chairman of that department, as Director of the Institute for International Studies, and as Director of the Program of Soviet and East European Studies.

In 1999 his department established the George Brinkley award to be given to an undergraduate major for outstanding service to the department and to the community.

His scholarly work included a major study of the foreign intervention in the Russian civil war (1917-1921) which won the George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association for the best international history in 1967.

He also contributed to nine other books on Soviet history, politics, and Communism, as well as articles in several professional journals.

When he retired in 1991 he had taught over 6,000 undergraduate students, directed 38 Master’s theses and 16 doctoral dissertations.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church in South Bend, IN.

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