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In Memoriam: William Joseph Block (1918 – 2015)

William J. Block
William J. Block

NC State’s Humanities and Social Sciences mourns the passing of former professor of political science and public administration William Joseph Block, who passed away on March 24, 2015. Block was a public administration expert who is credited with starting NC State’s Master of Public Administration program. During his long career at NC State (1957 – 1984), he chaired the Political Science Department and served as chairman of the NC State Faculty Senate. Known as an excellent professor and advisor, he was honored with the college’s first outstanding teacher award. Even after he retired in 1984, he continued to advise students for many years.

Off campus, Block educated and advised countless state employees, elected officials, judges and a former NC governor. He also worked tirelessly on his wife Miriam Block’s five successful City Council campaigns; they shared an enthusiasm for many things, including excellence in local government, during the course of their 64-year marriage.

Block was a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. He wrote “Washington Hearing Aids,” a column for the Agricultural Policy Review, for many years. Block was the author of numerous USDA Federal Extension Service pamphlets, brochures and articles. He also volunteered in community, church and school activities throughout his long and fruitful life, and enriched the lives of us all.

He is survived by his daughters Dr. Cheryl J. Block, Carla J. Block, and Christina J. Block Terrell, and their families. Cheryl Block is on the faculty of NC State’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Memorial contributions may be made to SPCA of Wake County (200 Petfinder Lane, Raleigh, NC 27603), Fairmont United Methodist Church (2501 Clark Avenue, Raleigh), NCSU Friends of the Library (Campus Box 7111, Raleigh, NC 27695-7111), or Transitions LifeCare (250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607).

Read more about William Block’s life and legacy at: