Vincent Mosco

Vincent Mosco (photo by Bing Wen, courtesy of Vincent's family)

IAMCR is saddened to learn of the death of Vincent Mosco, a leader in our field and a longtime member and supporter of the association. The obituary below was shared by his family.

Vincent Mosco, sociologist, political economist and renowned scholar in critical communication studies, died suddenly on Feb. 9 in Orlando, Florida. He was 75. He leaves behind his partner of more than 45 years, Catherine McKercher, daughters Rosemary and Madeline and their partners, grandchildren Noelle and Colin Morton, sister Bernadette (Jim), brother Joe (Maria), and nephew Frank.

Vincent grew up in a tenement on Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Though he loved his extended family and his community, he was determined to escape poverty and saw education as the way to achieve this. He won entry by competitive exam to Regis High School, one of New York’s best, graduated from Georgetown University in Washington with top honors, and went directly into the PhD in Sociology program at Harvard University, finishing his degree at the age of 27.

Over a long and distinguished career he taught at the University of Lowell, Mass., Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., and Carleton University in Ottawa, Ont. He returned to Queen’s in 2003 to take the Canada Research Chair in Communication and Society, retiring in 2011. In 2016 he was appointed distinguished professor at the New Media Centre, Fudan University School of Journalism and Communication, in Shanghai, China.

He was the author, co-author or co-editor of 27 books and more than 200 articles and reports, mainly focusing on the political, economic and social impact of new communication technologies. He served on the editorial board of more than 20 academic journals. His work took him all over the world, to Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Africa. A forthcoming memoir, to be published by Westminster Press in the UK, highlights his research and his activism. He won numerous awards for his teaching, scholarship and the contributions he made to critical research.

Vincent met Catherine, then a Washington correspondent for The Canadian Press, during a year-long post-doc in the Carter White House Office of Telecommunications Policy. They fell in love almost instantly and married in 1980. In 1984, disturbed by the turn to the right in the U.S. under Ronald Reagan, they moved their young family to Canada, first to Kingston and then to Ottawa, where they both joined the faculty of the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton. After taking the chair in Kingston in 2003, he and Catherine worked together on a series of studies on communications workers and the organizations that represent them.

But his life was not all work and no play. As a young man, he was joyfully ferocious on the basketball court. He stood by his beloved Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots through years of failure, which made their eventual victories all the sweeter. He loved helping his daughters grow into the talented, independent women they have become. In his final years, nothing made him happier than playing with his grandchildren, pulling coins out of their ears, pushing them on the swing, or spraying them with a garden hose. His family, which included dozens of graduate students who have gone on to scholarly careers of their own, was a source of enormous pride, joy, and love and will miss him dearly.