Sheldon B. Liss, internationally respected scholar of Latin American history and politics, died October 19, 1994, after a 13-year struggle with cancer. Born in Philadelphia November 3, 1936, he resided in the Cleveland suburb of Brecksville, Ohio.

Liss, who held the rank of Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Akron, specialized in Latin American political and social thought and inter-American relations. He was best known for his work in the field of radical and Marxist movements. He served as a coeditor of the periodical monograph series Latin American Issues and as a participating editor of the theoretical journal Latin American Perspectives.

In addition to many reviews and articles, his books included Fidel! Castro’s Political and Social Thought (1994); Radical Thought in Central America (1991); Roots of Revolution: Radical Thought in Cuba (1987); Marxist Thought in Latin America (1984); Diplomacy and Dependency: Venezuela, the United States, and the Americas (1978); The Canal: Aspects of United States-Panamanian Relations (1967); and A Century of Disagreement: The Chamizal Conflict, 1864–1964 (1965).

Liss initially attended Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, and received a bachelor’s degree from the American University in Washington, D. C., in 1958. He earned a master’s degree from Duquesne University in 1962 and the Ph. D. in history from the American University in 1964. He served on the faculties of Indiana State and the University of Notre Dame before coming to the University of Akron in 1967. The recipient of several Outstanding Teacher awards there, he organized the Latin American Studies program.

A longtime political activist, Liss devoted considerable effort to international peace organizations and to groups concerned with human rights in Latin America. He testified frequently as an expert witness in federal immigration court cases dealing with political asylum for persecuted Central Americans. He served as a guest lecturer at many institutions, including the Universities of Michigan, Arizona, and Pittsburgh; Oberlin College; Michigan State; and the University of Havana.

As an undergraduate, Liss participated in a number of varsity athletics, his best sport being swimming. He pursued his love of athletics in later life by swimming and running long distances regularly. He was particularly proud of finishing a five-mile road race after losing a portion of a lung to cancer.

Dr. Liss is survived by his wife, Dr. C. Susan Chester, of Brecksville; son Steven, of Hiram, Ohio; and daughter Jacqueline Pickering and granddaughter Haley Pickering, of Savannah, Georgia.