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E. Kimbark MacColl, Faculty

Historian E. Kimbark MacColl died August 31, 2011, in Portland.

Educated at Princeton and a veteran of World War II, Kim came to Reed in 1953 to teach humanities; he also worked in the admission office. In 1958, he got a job teaching history at Catlin Gabel School, where he later served as headmaster. Among his students was David Bragdon MALS ’09. “He was old-school in the best sense,” David reported. “He posed questions about our fundamental values. What did citizenship mean? What was the role of architecture in Athens, for example? And what did that say about our values?”

Kim is probably best known for writing three influential books about Portland history: The Shaping of a City; The Growth of a City; and Merchants, Money, and Power.

In 1999, Kim graciously consented to an interview with future Reed editor Chris Lydgate ’90, then a struggling freelancer, for a newspaper article on the history of Portland. Unfortunately, Kim’s car was being repaired, which required him to catch a ride down from his home in the West Hills in Lydgate’s vehicle, a disreputable ’64 Plymouth Valiant with holes in the floor and dubious brakes. After a heartstopping descent into Portland, Kim grinned and said, “That reminds me of a jeep I once drove in the Army.”

Kim and his wife, Leeanne, were active in social and political causes, and his associations included the City Club of Portland and the Urban League. Survivors include two sons and two daughters, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2011

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