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Sheldon Messinger, a Boalt Hall School of Law professor emeritus, died March 6 from complications related to lymphoma. He was 77. Messinger, a scholar in the fields of criminology and sociology, served as dean of UC-Berkeley’s School of Criminology from 1971-1975. He became an Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Professor of Law in 1977. “Shelly had an uncanny knack for making people see their own work in new ways, and in ways that immeasurably improved upon it,” said Boalt professor Malcolm Feeley. “Shelly may go down in academic annals as being one of the few scholars — if not the only one — for whom a collection of essays in his honor went from a hardback to a paperback edition, and then into a revised second edition.” The book, called “Punishment and Social Control: Essays in Honor of Sheldon L. Messinger,” was published in 1996. Eli Messinger, Sheldon’s son, said music remained a passion for his father throughout his life. “Growing up in the ’30s and ’40s, he loved Sinatra. He had some very valuable old Sinatra records.” Born in Chicago in 1925, Messinger served in World War II and received his undergraduate degree from UCLA in 1951. He served as a book review editor and an associate editor in the 1960s for “Social Problems,” the official journal of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Messinger received the Richard McGee Award for Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice Research from the American Justice Institute and the Award of Merit from the California Bureau of Criminal Statistics. He was married to Mildred Handler for 53 years. She died in August 2000. He is survived by his sons, Adam of Berkeley and Eli of Oakland, and his brother, Jay of Chicago. UC-Berkeley is planning a memorial service.

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