FIU professor John F. Stack Jr. dies at 71

The Miami Herald reports that John F. Stack Jr., who has been described as “an institution” at Florida International University (FIU), has passed away. He was 71 years old. 

FIU announced that Stack died on Thursday morning.

The school wrote:

It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing earlier today of our Founding Dean of FIU’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs John F. Stack, Jr., who was a friend and mentor to so many Panthers throughout the last five decades. He leaves a legacy of groundbreaking work that shaped the university FIU is today.

Stack’s passing is reported to have been the result of peritoneal cancer, a rare type of cancer that develops in the tissue that lines the abdomen. Stack was diagnosed with cancer about two years ago.

Who was he?

From Brockton, Massachusetts, Stack, whose parents never attended college, went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, a master’s and a doctorate degree in international studies from the University of Denver, and, later in life, a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.

It was in 1976 that Stack arrived at FIU as an instructor, teaching in the political science department. He would quickly become a professor and the chair of the department, and he would become the founding director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy.

During his life, Stack either authored or co-authored 13 books as well as several articles and academic papers.

Frank Mora, the director and professor of the FIU Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, described Stack as “a legend, an institution at FIU.”

“His spouse was FIU”

By all accounts, Stack was beloved by his students. FIU President Kenneth Jessell said of Stack, who never married or had children, “I think his spouse was FIU and his children were FIU students.”

Following the news of his passing, many of Stack’s former students have posted tributes to him.

FIU in the coming weeks is expected to host an event in which it will celebrate the life of Stack.

Stack is survived by his two sisters: Nancy Stack Savoie and Pam Stack. Both have spent time working at FIU. Nancy still works in the school’s human resources division.

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