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September 13, 2001

OBITUARY: Michael Francis Jiménez

Michael Francis Jimenéz, assistant professor of history here since 1993, died Sept. 1, 2001, of kidney cancer. He was 53.

Widely known for his interpretations of 19th- and 20th-century Colombian history, Jimenéz also published numerous essays on the history of Latin America.

His major work, "Struggles on an Interior Shore," will be published posthumously by Duke University Press.

Born in Merced, Calif., Jimenéz spent most of his childhood in Bogota, Colombia. He earned a B.A. in non-Western studies from Trinity College (CT), an M.A. in Latin American studies from Stanford and a Ph.D. in history from Harvard.

Prior to his tenure at Pitt, Jimenéz taught at Princeton University from 1985 to 1993 and was a visiting professor at the New School for Social Research in New York in 1991.

At Princeton, Jimenéz won the President's Distinguished Teaching Award for 1992-1993. He attracted hundreds of students to his popular courses on Latin America, both at Princeton and at Pitt.

Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University, who worked with Jimenéz at Princeton, recalled him as "a person of truly uncommon grace, of lively intellect and of abundant wisdom, who brought distinction to his profession and to his field."

Jimenéz also was the recipient of several honors, including a New Jersey Governors Fellowship, the David Rike Preceptorship at Princeton, a Whiting Fellowship, a Ful-bright-Hayes Fellowship, a Social Science Research Council Fellowship, a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Fellowship.

Jimenéz was involved in national debates on the teaching of history, serving as a panelist for the 1995 National History Standards Council on Basic Education.

His professional organization memberships included the American Historical Association, the Latin American Studies Association and the American Studies Association.

He served on the board of directors of Jesuit Volunteers International and the Colombia Human Rights Committee.

The story of his first marriage to Pamela Trigg, her death from breast cancer and his experiences as a single father raising their daughter are chronicled in Gloria Emerson's award-winning book, "Some American Men."

He is survived by his wife, Lynn Marie Sanborne, a clinical family therapist at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic; three children, Christina Trigg Jimenéz, 24, of Brooklyn, NY, David Emanuel Sanborne Jimenéz, 8, and Eliza Rose Sanborne Jimenéz, 5, of Pittsburgh; his mother, Mary Elizabeth Jimenéz of Pittsburgh; his father, Salvador Jimenéz of Miami Beach; a sister, Sally Abramson of Pittsburgh, and a brother, Robert J. Jimenéz of Bridgeport, CT.

The family requests that donations in his memory be made to the University of Pittsburgh/Michael Jimenéz Memorial Traveling Fellowship for Promising Undergraduates or to the St. Bede School/Creative and Performing Arts Program.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 34 Issue 2

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