Thursday, November 12, 2009
I previously blogged about my wonderful undergraduate years at Georgetown, where one man sparked my interest in law and teaching that became my lifelong calling: Dr. Walter I. Giles. I took five of Dr. Giles' legendary courses and seminars on constitutional law, and was honored to spend my senior year as his teaching assistant. I learned much about law, politics, and life from Dr. Giles, including a love for martinis and the Washington Redskins. I cherished the dozens of old Washington Post front pages he gave me chronicling the history of Watergate and other epochal political stories.
The Washington Post reports that Dr. Giles has passed away:
Dr. Giles altered the trajectory of my life -- I simply would not be where I am today had he not taken an interest in a scared, painfully shy and awkward kid away from home for the first time in his life. I can only hope that I have had a fraction of an impact on my students that Dr. Giles had on me.
Walter I. "Jack" Giles, 89, a government professor at Georgetown University whose American government and constitutional law classes were considered intellectual proving grounds for future lawyers and legislators, including President Bill Clinton, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 9 at the Emeritus assisted living facility in Arlington County.Dr. Giles joined the Georgetown faculty in 1947 and retired in 1990. Clinton, of the Georgetown Class of 1968, called Dr. Giles one of his favorite professors, according to David Maraniss's biography of the former president, "First In His Class" (1995).