Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

In Memoriam: David S. Dodge (1922-2009)

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

In Memoriam: David S. Dodge (1922-2009)

Article excerpt

DAVID STUART Dodge, one of the most highly respected and widely known of the "old Middle East hands," died on Jan. 20 in Princeton, New Jersey, his home.

One cannot think of David Dodge and the great Dodge family without reflecting on the American University of Beirut (AUB), founded nearly a hundred and fifty years ago by his great-grandfather, David Bliss. The university constitutes the preeminent American cultural legacy in the Middle East.

David Dodge was born in Beirut in 1922, the same year his father, Dr. Bayard Dodge, became the president of AUB. After high school at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, David earned a bachelor's degree in history at Princeton University and later a master's degree in Arabic and Middle East studies at the same university. In World War II, he served in the Middle East with the Office of Strategic Studies.

From 1952 to 1977 David worked for the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO). He and his wife, Doris Westfall (who died in 2000), lived near AUB in Beirut. Everybody knew that David came of a monied family, but the Dodges, as a way of life, were ever-so-careful not to give any sign that they had money. When the family entertained students of the Arab language in Beirut in 1956 (of whom the writer was one), no piece of furniture or kind of drink gave any hint that they were well off. …

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