Professor Abraham Rotstein: 1929 – 2015

Professor Abraham Rotstein: 1929 – 2015

We are very saddened by the news of the death of Senior Fellow and renowned Canadian Political Economist, Abraham Rotstein.  Prof. Rotstein died on April 27 in Toronto.  His association with Massey College goes back to 1973 as Senior Resident and soon after graduating to Senior Fellow (Continuing).  For decades he had an office in House 1 while holding the title of Senior Southam Fellow.  Known by all as Abe, he advised scores of mid-career journalists as they took up their positions as Southam Fellows and had a reputation for first of all, asking the most challenging questions in their interviews but following up during the year with sound advice on their courses interspersed with unforgettable puns.  Tribute was paid to Prof. Rotstein in the 2008-09 MasseyNews on his third and final attempt to retire from the position. Quipping quotable quotes such as “Every dogma has its day” and “Much will have to change in Canada if the country is to stay the same”, Prof. Rotstein claimed to have ‘tried to retire on three separate occasions, but no one seemed to listen’. He held the Southam Program together so wonderfully that his efforts to retire were certainly ignored until a High Table in his honour in 2008. He continued to come by the College frequently after that and was often seen in Ondaatje Hall at lunch.

Prof. Rotstein was a courageous economist and compelling nationalist. He was a wondrous intellectual and leading force in Canada.

Master Emeritus, John Fraser has written a tribute to this outstanding Massey Senior Fellow, which you can read here.

Many colleagues wrote to us to share their memories, which you can read here.

We send our deepest sympathy to his family, close friends and colleagues.

The flag on the College bell tower has been lowered to half-staff in his memory.

Funeral details:

Thursday, April 30 at 11:30 a.m. at Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Ave. West.

See the website of the Chapel for more details:

Shiva address:  102 Admiral Road, evening services at 8.00 p.m.; Shiva concludes on Monday evening, May 4.

We would like very much to continue paying tribute to Abe by posting your comments on the main notice board at Massey College.  Please send them to