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Noted author, professor Jack Ludwig dies at 95

February 14, 2018 — 
Jack Ludwig looking cool

Jack Ludwig

Winnipeg-born writer and academic Jack Ludwig [BA/44] died on Long Island, N.Y. on Feb. 12 at age 95. Raised in the city’s Jewish community, Ludwig was an English professor at State University of New York at Stony Brook for most of his adult life. He wrote four novels, as well as essays and reviews, but earned most praise for his short stories and sports journalism that included “Five Ring Circus: The Montreal Olympics” (1976).

Ludwig courted controversy. He was a friend of fellow writer Saul Bellow, but their relationship soured when Ludwig had an extramarital affair with Bellow’s wife, Sondra. And as an Arts student at the University of Manitoba, he was involved in what the Manitoban called “one of the biggest scandals the campus has ever seen.” On Feb. 18, 1944, Ludwig published an anti-war poem in the Manitoban, titled “Atrocities,” sparking an uproar at the university and in the community. The Winnipeg Free Press called for an investigation of the university and its structure; university officials grilled Ludwig, and the RCMP got involved. Even Time magazine reported on the incident.

Ludwig was found guilty of an “act that tarnished the good name of the university” and was expelled. He was allowed to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts, however, and proceeded to earn a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Ludwig wrote regular columns for Saturday Night Magazine and co-edited “The Noble Savage”—a literary review—and “Soundings: New Canadian Poets.”

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