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Former BU President John Silber Dies At 86

John Silber on the Boston University Bridge in July 1976 (Courtesy of Boston University)

John Silber on the Boston University Bridge in July 1976 (Courtesy of Boston University)

John Silber, a controversial and critical figure in Massachusetts politics and academia who ran Boston University for 25 years, died Thursday. He was 86.

During Silber’s tenure, BU began the Huntington Theatre Company, brought Nobel Prize winner Elie Weisel to the faculty, and increased its endowment by over 23 times.

But it was Silber’s frank manner, provocative views and what some called “autocratic rule” at the university that earned him the most renown. Many believe that his famous “Silber shockers” cost Silber the governship in 1990.

Guests:

  • John Westling, president of Boston University, 1996-2002
  • Marjorie Clapprood, Silber’s running mate during the 1990 gubernatorial race

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