Earlier this month, one of my first (and more influential undergraduate college professors from my days at Bethel College, KS) passed away after a battle with cancer.
Like most obituaries, this one just scratches the surface. Charles Benjamin also tauight a lot of muti-disciplinary courses and seminars over his years at BC. Charles taught us multi-tasking skills for making long-term and short-term decisions through options analyses and questioning of status quo news we are inundated with. He taught courses on the international political economy of grain. (Later, I would do my second MA with a focus on International Political Economy.) Charles also had the gumption to run for state representative of Kansas–a state that too often turns its back on progressives, like him. However, Dr. Charles Benjamin left progress in Kansas–despite what the neysayers always said.
Obituaries Charles Michael Benjamin 1950 – 2010 Reno, Nevadahttp://www2.ljworld.com/obituaries/2010/dec/26/charles-benjamin/
Charles Michael Benjamin, former Lawrence resident, died December 13, 2010 in Reno, Nevada, after a valiant battle with cancer.
He was born in Miami, FL, September 3, 1950.
For 20 years, before moving to Nevada, he was the lobbyist and attorney for the Kansas Chapter of the Sierra Club. His career in environmental law included a law practice representing more than 25 neighborhood associations across Kansas on a variety of land use and zoning issues. He was also a political science professor at Bethel College in Kansas, where he taught courses in environmental studies, American government and international relations, and served 16 years as a county commissioner in Harvey County, Kansas. Charles earned a B.A., an M.A., and a Ph.D. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California, and a J.D. from the School of Law at the University of Kansas.
During his time as Western Resource Advocates Director of the Nevada office, Charles continued the work begun in Kansas to tirelessly promote clean energy by developing and strengthening relationships with key Nevada stakeholders, including utilities, the state’s consumer advocate, legislators, the governor, business interests and the environmental community. He was sought out by Senator Harry Reid for his advice on energy questions. He was WRA’s point person on energy matters at the Nevada state legislature; and he tracked regulatory proceedings relating to WRA’s issues.
Charles enjoyed working with environmental groups, politicians, attorneys and policy wonks, and fought the good fight on all fronts. He made friends easily and charmed everyone with his zest for life. Charles was an avid cyclist, enjoying 75 to 100 miles bike rides in Nevada and California. He loved movies and Jewish delicatessen food, and could talk about any subject with gusto and authority.
Western Resource Advocates plans to remember Charles in Las Vegas on January 24th. Senator Harry Reid’s office is planning to read remarks about Charles into the congressional record. Further plans for a memorial in Lawrence are ongoing and will be announced at a later date.
Charles is survived by his wife Christine, Carson City, NV, and family members in Lawrence. Son John and daughter Anna Hershey-King and grandson Cole, Kansas City. Sister Sandra O’Leary and mother Terry Benjamin and extended family, Tucson AZ. Brothers Mike Moss, Miramar FL, and Ed Moss Philadelphia PA.
Contributions to the American Cancer Society or Sierra Club are suggested in memory of Charles