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Harold "Hal" Barger

Hal Barger
Harold “Hal” Barger while at
Trinity University in 1996

It is with deep sadness we announce the death of Harold “Hal” Barger, professor emeritus of political science and former chair of the department. Professor Barger died in San Antonio after a brief illness.  He was 73.

Professor Barger was a member of Trinity’s faculty for 31 years and taught both journalism and political science. He will be remembered for his love of travel, as a gifted gourmet cook, and as host of numerous dinner parties along with his late wife Carol.

Before entering academia, Professor Barger worked as a reporter at both the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Chicago Tribune and covered a wide range of stories from sparring with a female judo instructor to interviewing former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

He first came to Trinity in 1965 and was a journalism instructor for two years. He left the University to teach at Northwestern University and, later, the University of North Carolina-Ashville. In 1971, Professor Barger returned to Trinity as an assistant professor of political science. He became a full professor in 1983 and retired in 1999.

He was the author of several publications including two books, The American Presidency: Myths and Realities and The Impossible Presidency: Illusions and Realities of Executive Power.

He received many awards during his career including, grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

A passionate scholar who delighted in friendly arguments, Professor Barger earned the nickname “Happy Hal.”  He was also part of a group of faculty and friends who, beginning in the 1970s, enjoyed jogging together and spending their Saturdays having breakfast at El Mirador restaurant. His colleagues in the political science department recall his love of art, wine, and music – especially Mozart.
He is survived by daughters Sarah Christina Rea of Austin and Jennifer Barger-Swenson ’90 and son-in-law Callan Swenson ’91 of Washington, D.C.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 27, 2010, in the Parker Chapel with R. Douglas Brackenridge, professor emeritus of religion, officiating. Donations may be made in Professor Barger’s memory to Trinity University.

© 2010 Trinity University