I received an email from Marcia Krasnow informing me that Larry Fuchs (CD Philippines 1961-66) died in March at the age of 86. Marcia is the daughter of the late Dr. Joseph F. Kauffman who was the first Chief of the Peace Corps Division of Training at the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (1961-63). The two families were close. Both Fuchs and her father were at Brandeis University before joining the agency.
Fuchs wrote one of the first books on the Peace Corps, Those Peculiar Americans: The Peace Corps and American National Character, published by Meredith Press in 1967.
In the Peace Corps’ first year of operations, three hundred Volunteers were in the Philippines; after eighteen months, there were six hundred. Fuchs was, at the time, in charge of one third of all the Volunteers in the world. In his book about “those peculiar Americans,” he would write about the PCVs in one village in the Philippines, “They (PCVs) built libraries, toilets, began model gardens, started poultry and ‘piggery’ projects, ran nutrition seminars, and organized summer camps in the mountains.” Not only that, Fuchs added, “Volunteers were never satisfied, driving themselves to the limits of their endurance as the mythical cowboys might have done.”
After the Peace Corps, and when Jimmy Carter was president, he became the Executive Director of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy. Fuchs worked tirelessly to advance civil liberties, racial equality and human rights. He authored 10 books encompassing American political behavior, ethnicity and acculturation. He also held the Meyer and Walter Jaffe Professor of American Civilization and Politics at Brandeis University, and had been at Brandeis for more than 50 years. He was also chair of the American studies department at Brandeis for 25 years.
Donations in his honor may be sent to: Jewish Family and Children’s Services, 1430 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451 www.jfcsboston.org; The Human Rights Campaign, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20036 http://www.hrc.org/the-hrc-story/about-us; the Larry Fuchs Fund to support American studies at Brandeis, Brandeis University, 415 South St., Mailstop 122, Waltham, MA 02453 or online (https://alumni.brandeis.edu/makingyourgift/tribute); Facing History and Ourselves, 16 Hurd Rd, Brookline, MA 02445, USA, http://www.facing.org