Peter Irons appointed as the Raoul Wallenberg Distinguished Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Rutgers

July 20, 1987

Media Contact: Paul Lowenberg, 534-3120


Peter Irons, professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, has been appointed as the Raoul Wallenberg Distinguished Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey.

The Wallenberg Professorship was created by the New Jersey legislature in 1986 to honor the heroic Swedish diplomat and humanitarian, who, in his position as Swedish consul in Hungary was responsible for saving several thousand Jews from Nazi concentration camps. He disappeared shortly after World War II ended and reportedly died in a Soviet prison in 1947, although his death has never been confirmed.

Professor Irons, who has taught at UCSD since 1982, was chosen for the endowed chair in part because of his work as a lawyer and historian in securing the legal vindication of Japanese Americans who challenged their forced internment during World War II. The Rutgers announcement of his selection noted that "the extraordinary breadth and pertinence of your interests would make your year here an exciting fulfillment of the Wallenberg Professorship."

Irons will hold the chair from January through December 1988, and he will teach and lecture at Rutgers campuses across New Jersey.

Irons graduated from Harvard Law School and received a Ph.D. in political science from Boston University. He has published two award-winning books, and is currently completing "The Courage of Their Convictions", a book of profiles of people who began important civil rights and liberties cases in the past fifty years.

(July 20, 1987)