Professor Lev Vekker Dies

Posted: October 5, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Lev Vekker, 83, affiliate professor of psychology and a faculty member at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, died Oct. 1. He had been associated with George Mason since 1991. Vekker was active in his field until his last days; he returned two weeks ago from a conference in his native Russia, where he gave a lecture.

Vekker had M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in psychology from the University of Leningrad and was known as the “patriarch of Russian psychology” in his home country, according to John Allen, associate professor of psychology, who worked closely with Vekker at George Mason. He held appointments at the University of Leningrad, Leipzig University, and Vilnius Pedagogical College before emigrating to the United States with his family in 1988 during the glasnost era. He eventually became a U.S. citizen.

James Olds, director and CEO of Krasnow, says Vekker “was world-famous–one of the greatest psychologists of the 20th century.” His most recent work was on the role of touch in consciousness, and he published more than 125 papers and five books during his lifetime. Vekker’s recollections of his career–nearly six hours on audiotape–were recorded earlier this year as part of Fenwick Library’s Oral History Project and are available in Special Collections.

Vekker is survived by a son, Boris, who lives in Delaware. Funeral services are today at 1 p.m. at Schoenberg Memorial Chapel, 519 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, Del. The chapel phone number is (302) 762-0334.

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